Saturday, April 09, 2011

Footprints on the sands of cement

My conference hotel in California shared the block with Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Yesterday afternoon I managed to elbow my way through a herd of distressingly dressed tourists to capture a few images of the footprints of the famous.

Most are just footprints, hand prints, autographs, and date, but a few show the personality of the star - like Jimmy Durante's nose or a few musical notes written out by Bing Crosby.

For my little pictorial diary, I avoided the nouveau stars and stuck with the ones who have some longevity of reputation. Funny thing, though. I think most of the folks skipping over the stones didn't recognize the majority of names etched into the cement squares. (They're obviously not fans of Turner Classic Movies.)

Now, there seems to be some dispute on exactly how the custom of playing in cement got started. Was it Norma Talmadge? A forecourt workman? Sid Grauman himself? Well, whatever ignited the tradition, it's been popular thing to do over the past 80+ years. And quite the honor. Helen Mirren is the latest to leave her mani-pedi in front of the pagoda-esque establishment (March 2011).

I assume the shoes are ruined after leaving their impressions at Grauman's. What do you think?


Liz said...

I'd love to see all those famous names and prints!

MaryB said...

Definitely worth the time, Liz!