Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Coordinates: 6671 Sunset Boulevard

LOCATED ON Sunset Boulevard and Las Palmas in Los Angeles, Cross Roads of the World is considered America's first outdoor shopping mall.  The mall features a central building designed to resemble an ocean liner surrounded by a small village of cottage style bungalows. According to the Cross Roads of the World website, it was designed by Robert V. Derrah and built in 1936.
       It was once a busy shopping center, the Crossroads now hosts private offices, primarily for the entertainment industry. It has been used for location shooting in many films, T.V. shows, and commercials.  According to the official website, a reproduction of Crossroads' iconic tower and spinning globe can be seen just inside the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida!

     Today, Cross Roads of the World is the creative home of a variety of "unique offices" and Eckankar, a new church that "promises a personal experience with God every day".  Some of the "unique offices" that I saw while exploring the Cross Roads were offices for music publishers and producers, television and film script writers, film and recording companies, novelists, costume designers, publicists and casting agencies.
     While the monument still stands the same as it did 76 years ago, everything else has changed around it.  The fact that it stood the test of time and has been preserved shows that not all aspects of Hollywood are easy to paint over and use as movie sets.  That there are certains things, perhaps "firsts" in Hollywood, that are seemingly off limits in terms of tearing down.  The pictures below demonstrate the contrast from 76 years ago to today.  If you look at the bottom layer of the original building it still is exactly the same, only a difference in the inhabitants and businesses, perhaps acting as a microcosm for Hollywood and its movie sets: the sets remain the same, but the movies and actors are constantly changing, trying to stay fresh and relevant.


Photo Credit:  Present day ones are mine
Old photo is from the official website

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