La La Land — A Love Letter to Los Angeles
Tonight may you dance with someone you love and last forever.
The film La La Land is not only a movie that just earned seven Golden Globe awards, but also a love letter to Los Angeles. Being filmed entirely in LA, the wonderful scenes and romance paint Los Angeles as the city of stars. Whether it’s the opening scenes of Century Freeway or Sebastian’s (Ryan Gosling) attempts to help Mia (Emma Stone) find her Prius keys in a sea of identical keys, nothing has ever made audiences laugh from the bottom of their hearts more relating to life in LA.
Los Angeles has been a city on the world’s stage for a long time. With endless films shot in Hollywood, portrayals such as Chinatown, Sunset, Palm Trees and Speed have already laid the foundation for LA’s urban image. Now, La La Land turns it into a romantic destination. Want to have your own love affair with the City of Angels? Join us in following in the footsteps of La La Land to experience all the great city’s attractions.
StudioWarner Brothers Studio provides fantastic tours for all. On their 2-hour tours, each group of 12 people gets its own guide who shares all sorts of interesting facts about the movies and studio. Not only will you drive around the studio grounds, you can also explore the exterior sets on foot and enter the fake houses and interior sets of popular films and shows such as Two Broke Girls, Pretty Little Liars, Friends and The Big Bang Theory. Bring a list of your favorite shows, and they will do their best to show you locations and sets.
In La La Land, Mia works as a barista in the coffeehouse at the studio. Sebastian also takes Mia on dates to famous stages including Stage 6. In addition to La La Land, well-known works such as Casablanca, Gossip Girl, and Harry Potter were also filmed here. Warner Bros Studio is the best studio tour in Los Angeles.
Located on Mt. Hollywood Drive, Cathy’s Corner — as it is referred to by locals — is one of the best viewpoints in the area, overlooking the entire city of Los Angeles. In the movie, after leaving a party together, Sebastian and Mia walk to this overlook. Sebastian mentions the gorgeous city view, saying, “Not much to look at, huh?” to which Mia replies “I’ve seen better.” Then, to the music of “A Lovely Night”, they begin their first romantic dance together in the moonlight. Cathy’s Corner is also where the film's poster was shot. Leave yourself a little time here for hiking, and you’ll be in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Watts Towers are LA’s most iconic works of sculpture. Their creator Simon Rodia built them by hand over a span of 34 years into his mid-70s. In 1921, Simon Rodia purchased a triangular-shaped lot in Los Angeles and began construction on his masterpiece Watts Towers. For 34 years, Simon Rodia worked alone and without profit. When critics took him as a fool, he would simply respond, “I wanted to do something big, and I did it.” Watts Towers have since been designated a National Historic Landmark. In the movie, Mia and Sebastian stop at Watts Towers during their summer romance montage. Drop by the towers yourself, and you’ll be amazed by what one person can accomplish in their spare time. Watts Towers are a symbol of hard work and what it means to achieve your dreams.
The Lighthouse Café
Located in Hermosa Beach, the Lighthouse Café has been a jazz club since 1949. It is home to its own in-house jazz group and was once graced by the likes of Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. In the film, The Lighthouse Café is the first place Sebastian takes Mia in his efforts to sway her disinterest in jazz. Live bands and drink specials make this a great spot to celebrate the weekend.
The Smokehouse Restaurant
The Smokehouse was built at the end of WWII and survives to this day. Right across the road from Warner Bros Studio, it has served all the former and current Hollywood elites. Stepping into the smokehouse is like stepping back in time; the décor of this restaurant reflects Hollywood’s Golden Age. The signature prime rib has been on the menu since 1946, and the appetizer “The World’s Best Garlic Bread” is a must. It is at The Smokehouse Restaurant that Mia first falls in love with Sebastian’s music.
As Big Ben is to London, Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park is one of LA’s most iconic landmarks, standing high on top of the mountains. La La Land director Damien Chazelle made use of Griffith Observatory in his impressive scenes of Mia and Sebastian floating and dancing through a galaxy inside the planetarium. The observatory is free to the public. Visit the educational exhibits in the observatory during the day, and stick around for the breathtaking views of LA at night — they’re sure to make your time in the city unforgettable.
In addition to the attractions listed above, La La Land also brings us lots of striking views of Los Angeles. In this city of stars, there is an endless amount of beautiful places to visit. Just be sure to save some time to explore.