Hollywood talent from all backgrounds gathered last Thursday at the Egyptian Theatre to celebrate Red Line Tours unveiling their new series of collectible souvenir tickets designed by world-renowned artist Andre Miripolsky. Cast members from Broadway hits like “Grease” and “Peter Pan” to films such as “Westside Story” and “E.T. The Extraterrestrial” as well as TV classics like “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “My Three Sons,” “Bewitched,” “Happy Days” and “The Waltons” to “Y&R” and “Hanna Montana” were present.
We know what you might be thinking. What exactly do all these individuals have in common? They all share a passion for the preservation of Hollywood History.
A few of the artists on hand for the event took the 75-minute guide-led journey of Hollywood Behind-the-Scenes, revealing the story of Hollywood from its Golden Age to present day. The tour is the only walking tour in Los Angeles and the only tour that uses a live state of the art adjustable audio system (by Williams Sound) that allows all patrons to hear the guide up to 300 feet, regardless of the surrounding noise.
“I was amazed at the clarity. Despite the street noises, not to mention a rather boisterous group of demonstrators, I could hear every word the guide said on the tour,” remarked Romi Dames of “Hanna Montana.”
While visiting Grauman’s Chinese Theatre the group took a slight side trip took to visit the nearby star of Ms. Kate Linder of “The Young & the Restless,” who had joined the tour. Practically born into the industry as Tabitha Stevens on “Bewitched” Erin Murphy commented, “I think that older patrons of the tour will find themselves either reliving great memories while the younger ones will be learning about an industry that has defined the last century. Those of us who are connected to the industry, walk away with a sense of pride in being part of it.”
The 2012-edition 3 ticket series of Red Line Tours entitled “The Icons of Hollywood” highlights three historically important structures representing music, stage and the silver screen – the Capitol Records building, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Bowl. The tickets are good for admission to Hollywood Behind-the-Scenes and are anticipated to be a high quality collectible memento.
Special guests that attended the event included: George Chakiris, Romi Dames, Ilene Graff, Tippi Hedren, Kate Linder, Barry Livingston, Stan Livingston, Michael Learned, Ruta Lee, Rose Marie, Mary McDonough, Don Most, Erin Murphy, Judy Norton, Hugh O’Brian, Rip Taylor, Dee Wallace and Barbara Van Orden among others.
Red Line Tours Hollywood Behind the Scenes is undisputedly one of Hollywood’s most popular and enduring attractions and has become part of Hollywood’s modern history. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt used Red Line Tours Downtown LA tour to help prepare for his role in “500 Days of Summer,” and Clare Danes toured with founder Tony Hoover as part of a piece on her early days in theatre.
The Red Line Tour guides dispel myths and often reveal unknown behind the scenes stories, classic movie palaces, history of the Hollywood Sign, Walk of Fame lore… and Hollywood’s hidden hideaways of the Stars, while taking patrons inside venues generally restricted to the public. Even many native Angelinos may learn new tidbits about their own city such as:
* At which Theatre for which film was the first gala movie premiere?
-Robin Hood, 1922 at the Egyptian Theatre
* Which Star on the walk of fame is the most sought after by tourists?
* Who saved the Hollywood Sign from destruction?
-Alice Cooper and Hugh M. Hefner
* Who was the first female actress to demand $1 million for a film?
-Elizabeth Taylor for “Cleopatra” (An offer she made, and expecting to be declined, for a film she hadn’t wished to do at the time.)
* Where was the first Academy Awards Held?
-The Roosevelt Hotel and they lasted 20 minutes.
Red Line Tours Founder, Tony Hoover, received a BFA from Ball State University and worked for the industry famous trade, The Hollywood Reporter, before putting his degree in and a passion for architecture to use in creating the Red Line Tours.
The artwork used for the collectible tickets are creations of Andre Miripolsky, who was on hand to sign the first editions on Thursday. His keen understanding of pop imagery and energy has resulted in collaborations with Elton John, Bette Midler, Quincy Jones, Rolling Stones, Gato Barbieri, Robin Williams, Beastie Boys, Cheap Trick, MTV and “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno. An “Absolut Artist of the ’90s,” Miripolsky created his inaugural Absolut Vodka ad in 1991 and Mattel asked Miripolsky if he would lend his unique approach in creating a one-of-a-kind soon to be released “Art Barbie.” His commitment and participation in timely social and political causes is reflected in his artistic vision. He has collaborated with the United Nations Artist and Performers Against Apartheid Symposium, was commissioned by the Director’s Guild of America to create a new look for “The Artist’s Rights Foundation” (founded by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Martin Scorsese), and he designed a limited-edition poster to raise funds for inner city youth of Chicago. Along the same lines, he has been working for several years with Pro-Peace, AIDS Project Los Angeles, and Artists for Disarmament.
Currently, negotiations are underway with the top theatre representatives in New York for a similar walking tour of Broadway’s most famous theatres.
For information about the tickets and tours, go to Red Line Tours.
Photos by Bill Dow