History and EvolutionHollywood Boulevard is in constant evolution, with businesses and attractions coming and going. Nearly half of the 110 Hollywood businesses and landmarks I photographed for the City of LA in 2004 are gone or transformed. All of the following is subject to change at any moment. In the 1930's, Hollywood Blvd was the center of glamor, lined with palatial stage and movie theaters like ITC/Grauman's Chinese and Egyptian theaters near Hollywood and Highland and the Pantages Theatre at Hollywood and Vine. In the 1960s, the area declined, and was known more for sleazy strip shows, prostitution and drug culture through the 1990s.
Turn-of-the-millennium redevelopment breathed new life into the Boulevard, anchored by the Hollywood & Highland Center, which opened at that intersection in 2001. At the same time, a crime crackdown moved most of the prostitutes and drug dealers out of the neighborhood, making it reasonably safe to walk around, even at night. In the last couple years the homeless and drugged out backpackers have returned to line the Blvd panhandling, but there's a strong police presence to keep things flowing without incident for the tourists.