La La Land – A Romantic Musical City of Stars
Since its beginnings, movies and magic and magic have been strongly linked, and after all, there are few things in this world more magical than movies. This is partly what makes movies about Hollywood and the industry so appealing and beautiful. However, movies don’t have to explicitly be about the film industry history to be a homage to the film world itself.
La La Land is one of those movies that exposes the magic of films in a very beautiful way. It does not tell you straight forward the history of the industry, but it is in its own way a homage to all there is to it. But it is also probably the best example at what a modern classic can be, keeping the romance and magic of musicals alive without being a cheap romantic-comedy. This is one of the best movies you can use to go out and check some landmarks of this City of Stars.
Cathy’s Corner, Mount Hollywood Drive
One of the movie’s most beautiful scenes takes place here. It is not a waste of a lovely night at all and that’s a fact. The is the “not much to look at, huh?” scene where the couple’s first dance takes place, even though they weren’t a couple. It is also near the famed Mulholland Drive, here the film shows us the amazing and six-minute musical and dance number. You can go there and snap a nice picture of the setting Sun there, however, don’t expect to find the bench or the street lamp, as they were only placed there for the film and don’t really exist.
The Lighthouse Cafe, Hermosa Beach
This is the place where Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) introduces Mia (Emma Stone) to what pure jazz is supposed to be and what’s the meaning behind it all. It is a lovely scene where we also get to understand the passion Sebastian has inside and what drives him day after day. It’s funny ‘cause it has actually been a pretty hot spot for jazz lovers and musicians since 1949. While in real life it is actually the same type of business with the same name, it is no longer exclusively for jazz. A lot like the “samba-tapas” place, the Lighthouse Cafe now hosts country, reggae and salsa too, wonder what would Sebastian think of this…
You can find it at 30 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, and as an extra, near the Lighthouse cafe you can find Hermosa Beach Pier, where Sebastian sings City of Stars for the first time in the movie.
In a very emotional night for Mia when she decides to keep following her heart and accept Sebastian’s invitation while escaping her date with her boyfriend, they go to an old fashioned theatre to watch Rebel Without a Cause. Located in 1023 Fair Oaks Ave, it dates from 1925, and was one of the last of its kind.
Rialto Theatre closed its doors back in 2007, but they used it in the movies to create the feeling of this old classic Hollywood, a lot like traditional jazz, is also dying and falling into obscurity. However, even though it is no longer active, it is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places and there are even some plans to reopen it.
Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park
This has been a popular location for movies ever since it was built. Dating back to 1935, this art-deco landmark of the city of Los Angeles needs no introduction. It’s pretty much the Big Ben of LA, and it’s also the perfect place to continue their date after their visit to Rialto. Here, they take the City of Stars to the next level in a beautiful scene that takes the couple out of this world in a magical moment and a modern-classic romantic scene that’s a beautiful direct homage to classic Hollywood. It’s located in 2800 E. Observatory Ave, so it would be pretty hard to run into it by accident.