The Sunset Strip is the 1 1⁄2-mile (2.4 km) stretch of Sunset Boulevard that passes through the city of West Hollywood, California, United States. It extends from West Hollywood's eastern border with the city of Los Angeles (Hollywood) at Crescent Heights Boulevard to its western border with Beverly Hills at Sierra Drive. The Sunset Strip is known for its boutiques, restaurants, rock clubs, and nightclubs, as well as its array of huge, colorful billboards.
Sunset Boulevard is a boulevard in the central and western part of Los Angeles County, California that stretches from the Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades east to Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles. It is a major thoroughfare in the cities of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, as well as several districts in Los Angeles.
West Hollywood, commonly referred to as WeHo, is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Incorporated in 1984, it is home to the Sunset Strip. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, its population was 34,399. It is considered one of the most prominent gay villages in the United States.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Prior to the 1984 incorporation of the city of West Hollywood, the Sunset Strip lay in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. Because of this, the Sunset Strip and all of West Hollywood gained a reputation for being a loosely regulated area, in large part because it was not under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Police Department.
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not governed by a local municipal corporation; similarly an unincorporated community is a settlement that is not governed by its own local municipal corporation, but rather is administered as part of larger administrative divisions, such as a township, parish, borough, county, city, canton, state, province or country. Occasionally, municipalities dissolve or disincorporate, which may happen if they become fiscally insolvent, and services become the responsibility of a higher administration. Widespread unincorporated communities and areas are a distinguishing feature of the United States and Canada. In most other countries of the world, there are either no unincorporated areas at all, or these are very rare; typically remote, outlying, sparsely populated or uninhabited areas.
Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, is the most populous county in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of the U.S. state of California and is the most populous county in the United States, with more than 10 million inhabitants as of 2017. As such, it is the largest non-state level government entity in the United States. Its population is larger than that of 41 individual U.S. states. It is the third-largest metropolitan economy in the world, with a Nominal GDP of over $700 billion—larger than the GDPs of Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Norway, and Taiwan. It has 88 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas and, at 4,083 square miles (10,570 km2), it is larger than the combined areas of Delaware and Rhode Island. The county is home to more than one-quarter of California residents and is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the U.S. Its county seat, Los Angeles, is also California's most populous city with about 4 million people.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), officially the City of Los Angeles Police Department, is the police department of Los Angeles, California. With 9,988 officers and 2,869 civilian staff, it is the third-largest municipal police department in the United States, after the Chicago Police Department and the New York City Police Department. The department operates in an area of 498 square miles (1,290 km2) and a population of 4,030,904 people.
Gambling was illegal in the city of Los Angeles, but legal in unincorporated Los Angeles County, which fostered the development of rather wilder nightlife in West Hollywood than was found within the city limits. In the 1920s a number of nightclubs and casinos moved in along Sunset Strip, which attracted movie people; alcohol was served in back rooms during Prohibition.
Gambling is the wagering of money or something of value on an event with an uncertain outcome, with the primary intent of winning money or material goods. Gambling thus requires three elements be present: consideration, risk (chance), and a prize. The outcome of the wager is often immediate, such as a single roll of dice, a spin of a roulette wheel, or a horse crossing the finish line, but longer time frames are also common, allowing wagers on the outcome of a future sports contest or even an entire sports season.
A casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. The industry that deals in casinos is called the gaming industry. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions. There is much debate over whether the social and economic consequences of casino gambling outweigh the initial revenue that may be generated. Some casinos are also known for hosting live entertainment events, such as stand-up comedy, concerts, and sporting events.
Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933.
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In the 1930s and the 1940s, restaurants and nightclubs on Sunset Strip, like Ciro's, the Mocambo and the Trocadero, were patronized by people working in the movie industry. Some of its expensive nightclubs and restaurants were said to be[ by whom? ] owned by gangsters like Mickey Cohen and Bugsy Siegel, earning Sunset Strip a place in Raymond Chandler's 1949 Philip Marlowe novel, The Little Sister . Also on Sunset Strip are the Garden of Allah apartments—Hollywood quarters for transplanted writers like Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, and F. Scott Fitzgerald —and Schwab's Drug Store.
Ciro's was a nightclub in West Hollywood, California, at 8433 Sunset Boulevard, on the Sunset Strip, opened in January 1940 by entrepreneur William Wilkerson. Herman Hover took over management of Ciro's in 1942 until it closed its doors in 1957. Hover filed for bankruptcy in 1959, and Ciro's was sold at public auction for $350,000. Ciro's combined a luxe baroque interior and an unadorned exterior and became a famous hangout for movie people of the 1940s and 1950s. It was one of "the" places to be seen and guaranteed being written about in the gossip columns of Hedda Hopper, Louella Parsons and Florabel Muir.
The Mocambo was a nightclub in West Hollywood, California, at 8588 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip. It was owned by Charlie Morrison and Felix Young.
Cafe Trocadero was an upscale nightclub that opened on the Sunset Strip in 1934 and immediately became the place where Hollywood stars went to be seen. Photographs of the stars out on the town at the Troc one night might appear in The Hollywood Reporter the next day, as both Cafe Trocadero and THR were owned by William R. Wilkerson.
By the early 1960s, Sunset Strip had lost favor with the majority of movie people, but its restaurants, bars and clubs continued to serve as an attraction for locals and tourists. In the mid-1960s it became a major gathering place for the counterculture and was the scene of the Sunset Strip curfew riots in November 1966, involving police and crowds of young club-goers. Those riots inspired the Buffalo Springfield song "For What It's Worth".
A counterculture is a subculture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society, often in opposition to mainstream cultural mores. A countercultural movement expresses the ethos and aspirations of a specific population during a well-defined era. When oppositional forces reach critical mass, countercultures can trigger dramatic cultural changes. Prominent examples of countercultures in Europe and North America include Romanticism (1790–1840), Bohemianism (1850–1910), the more fragmentary counterculture of the Beat Generation (1944–1964), followed by the globalized counterculture of the 1960s (1964–1974), usually associated with the hippie subculture and the diversified punk subculture of the 1970s and 1980s.
The Sunset Strip curfew riots, also known as the "hippie riots", were a series of early counterculture-era clashes that took place between police and young people on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California in 1966.
Buffalo Springfield was a Canadian-American rock band active from 1966 to 1968 whose most prominent members were Stephen Stills, Neil Young, and Richie Furay. The group released three albums and several singles, including "For What It's Worth". The band combined elements of folk and country music with British invasion and psychedelic-rock influences, and, along with the Byrds, were part of the early development of folk-rock.
Sunset Strip became popular with rock musicians and their fans. Bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Doors,The Byrds, Love, The Seeds, Frank Zappa, and others played at clubs like the Whisky a Go Go, the Roxy, Pandora's Box and the London Fog. In July 1965 Go-Go dancers also began performing. The Hyatt West Hollywood (now known as the Andaz West Hollywood) became a popular hotel.
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. The band's heavy, guitar-driven sound has led them to be cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal. Their style drew from a wide variety of influences, including blues, psychedelia, and folk music.
The Doors were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s, mostly because of Morrison's lyrics and his erratic stage persona, and the group was widely regarded as representative of the era's counterculture.
The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple lineup changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member, until the group disbanded in 1973. Although they only managed to attain the huge commercial success of contemporaries like the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones for a short period in the mid-60s, the Byrds are today considered by critics to be nearly as influential as those bands. Their signature blend of clear harmony singing and McGuinn's jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar was immediately absorbed into the vocabulary of popular music and has continued to be influential up to the present day.
Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco, influenced by Britain's glam rock movement, opened in 1972. It became a hangout for musicians, including The Stooges and the New York Dolls.The 1979 Donna Summer song "Sunset People", from the album Bad Girls , was about the nightlife on Sunset Boulevard. Sunset Strip continued to be a major focus for punk rock and new wave music during the late 1970s
This decade became the home of numerous Glam Metal bands such as Quiet Riot,Motley Crue,Ratt and the LA Guns, the Sunset Strip ceased to be a major area for up and coming rock bands without industry sponsorship. The adoption of "pay to play" policies, where bands were charged a fee to play at clubs, diminished its appeal to groups, other than as an industry showcase. As of the 2010s, the music industry establishment continues to dominate the clubs on Sunset Strip.
In November 1984, voters in West Hollywood passed a proposal on the ballot to incorporate and the area became an independent city. Increasingly, the western end of Sunset Strip was occupied by office buildings, mostly catering to the entertainment industry, and hotels.
During the 1990s, the center of the alternative music activity in Los Angeles shifted further east to areas like Echo Park, Los Feliz and Silver Lake.
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77 Sunset Strip , a 1958–1964 TV series, was set on Sunset Strip between La Cienega Boulevard and Alta Loma Road, although the address was fictional, as street numbers there run in the 7000-8000s. A second crime drama, Dan Raven , starring Skip Homeier, aired on NBC during calendar year 1960, also set on Sunset Strip. Dan Raven featured several celebrities appearing as themselves, including Bobby Darin, Marty Ingels, and Paul Anka. The 1979 film Hardcore had scenes from Sunset Strip when George C. Scott's character Jake Van Dorn flew to Los Angeles to find his missing teenage daughter.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was a behind-the-scenes television drama of a late-night comedy sketch show performed at a fictional theater on Sunset Strip.
Premiering on January 27, 2006, in Los Angeles at Vanguard Hollywood,the Rock of Ages stage production inspired the 2012 film of the same name. Its story line is centered along Sunset Strip in 1987.
The 2010 film Burlesque is set at a fictional neo-Burlesque club on Sunset Strip.[ citation needed ]
Los Angeles-based artist Edward Ruscha created the artist's book Every Building on the Sunset Strip in 1966.
Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California, notable as the home of the U.S. film industry including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the industry and the people associated with it.
Hollywood and Vine, the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, a district of Los Angeles, became known in the 1920s for its concentration of radio and movie-related businesses. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is centered on the intersection.
Whisky a Go Go is a nightclub in West Hollywood, California. It is located at 8901 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip, corner North Clark Street, opposite North San Vicente Boulevard, northwest corner. The club has been the launching pad for bands including Iggy And The Stooges, The Doors, No Doubt, System of a Down, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Steppenwolf, Van Halen, Johnny Rivers, X, Led Zeppelin, KISS, Guns N' Roses, Linkin Park, and Mötley Crüe and former WWE Superstar Enzo Amore. In 2006, the venue was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Viper Room is a nightclub located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, United States. It was opened in 1993 and was partly owned by actor Johnny Depp. The other part owner was Sal Jenco who starred in 21 Jump Street with Depp. The club became known for being a hangout of Hollywood elite, and was the site where actor River Phoenix died of a drug overdose on Halloween morning in 1993. In early 1995, Australian singer Jason Donovan suffered a drug-induced seizure at the club and survived. The Viper Room has undergone several changes in ownership, and continues to host music of multiple genres, including metal, punk rock, and alternative rock.
"For What It's Worth " is a song written by Stephen Stills. It was performed by Buffalo Springfield, recorded on December 5, 1966, and released as a single on Atco Records on December 23, 1966. The single peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Elmer Valentine was the co-founder of three famous nightclubs on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California: the Whisky a Go Go, The Roxy Theatre and the Rainbow Bar & Grill.
The Rainbow Bar and Grill is a bar and restaurant on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, United States, adjacent to the border of Beverly Hills, California. Its address is 9015 Sunset Boulevard.
The Hollywood Pantages Theatre, formerly known as RKO Pantages Theatre, is located at Hollywood and Vine, in Hollywood. Designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca, it was the last theater built by the vaudeville impresario Alexander Pantages. The palatial Art Deco theater opened on June 4, 1930, as part of the Pantages Theatre Circuit.
Gazzarri's was a nightclub on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, United States. The Doors and Van Halen were featured house bands there for long stretches before being discovered. It was also the L.A. club featured in Huey Lewis and the News' music video for their hit "The Heart of Rock and Roll."
Cahuenga Boulevard is a major boulevard of northern Los Angeles, California, US. The name is derived from Cahuenga, the Spanish name for the Tongva village of Kawengna, meaning "place of the mountain". It connects Sunset Boulevard in the heart of old Hollywood to the Hollywood Hills and North Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley.
The Sunset Tower Hotel, previously known as The St. James's Club, and The Argyle, is a historic building and hotel located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. Designed in 1929 by architect Leland A. Bryant, opened in 1931, it is considered one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the Los Angeles area. In its early years, it was the residence of many Hollywood celebrities, including John Wayne and Howard Hughes. After a period of decline in the early 1980s, the building was renovated and has been operated as a luxury hotel under the names The St. James's Club, The Argyle, and most recently the Sunset Tower Hotel. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Rock of Ages is a jukebox musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s, especially from the famous glam metal bands of that decade. The musical features songs from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Steve Perry, Poison and Europe, among other well-known rock bands. It was written by Chris D'Arienzo, directed by Kristin Hanggi and choreographed by Kelly Devine with music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp.
Victor Drai is a Franco-American nightclub owner, entrepreneur and film producer. Drai rose to prominence in the 1980s, producing the movies The Woman in Red and Weekend at Bernie's, before leaving the industry to open a string of high-profile restaurants and nightclubs.
Sunset Marquis Hotel is a luxury hotel in West Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California. It is owned by George and his son Mark Rosenthal, and located at 1200 Alta Loma Road, and situated just off the Sunset Strip. Known for its celebrity clientele, especially musicians and people in the film industry, the hotel offers 100 suites and 52 villas located on 3 1/4 acres. Cavatina, the hotel restaurant, is popular for an expansive al fresco dining area and Bar 1200 was the original Whiskey Bar. NightBird Recording Studios, a professional recording studio in the lower level of the hotel is very popular with professional musicians and many GRAMMY winning songs have been recorded here. The hotel is also home to the Morrison Hotel Gallery which features fine art photography of rock legends. As of October 2017 room rates range from $350 to $10,000 per night.
Thee Experience was a psychedelic nightclub in Hollywood, California, United States. It was located at 7551 Sunset Boulevard, on the Sunset Strip.
Pandora's Box was a nightclub and coffeehouse on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. It was at the center of the Sunset Strip curfew riots in 1966.
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