Los Angeles is one of those cities you can say anything about and believe it to be true. Either because the ridiculous statement is in fact true or that imagination is so abundant here that to make believe is to believe. With that in mind, here are a few things you might not have known about LA.
The Hollywood sign used to read “Hollywoodland.” You may have known that, but years later, once the “land” was dropped and the other letters had lived through years of fires, drunk driving incidents and general deterioration, nine different donors contributed to refurbish the letters including Andy Williams, Hugh Hefner, and Alice Cooper--in memory of Groucho Marx. Naturally.
The Levitated Mass (that giant boulder thing) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which clocks in at 21.5 feet tall and 340 tons, took a specifically made transporter to deliver to the museum from the quarry. The transporter had to go seven miles an hour because of its weight. And you wonder why traffic is such an issue in southern California.
The Zoot Suit Riots were a real thing and they happened in LA in 1943. Here’s a quick history lesson: The ZSRs were essentially the result of racial tensions between young Latino men and white servicemen. Due to rationing during World War II, Zoot Suits, or suits that were cut to look over-sized, were all but banned, due to their overuse of fabric. This style of suit was popular in Mexican American culture, however, and many servicemen took exception to it, seeing it as an unpatriotic gesture. What resulted was a series of riots that left more than 150 injured.
Neil Patrick Harris was once president of the board at the illustrious Magic Castle, the invite-only Magician’s Club in the heart of Hollywood. You literally can’t go inside unless you have an invitation. It helps to know people.
The infamous Nakatomi Plaza building from Die Hard is actually the Fox Plaza building in Century City. You can drive up and pretend you’re John McClane, or Bruce Willis, whoever.
There’s an actual Museum of Death. Don’t say it...can’t help...PEOPLE ARE DYING TO GET IN. (I tried.)
The Muppets Studio is real. Originally Charlie Chaplin’s studio, The Jim Henson Company bought it in 2000, giving a home and a soundstage to the fuzzy creatures.