Here are a few cool hang-outs that you might want to visit, ranging from sinister to spooky to infinity and beyond. We will add more as the occasion arises.
Other places you might want to check out:
Book and Video Stores - places specializing in fantasy films, mystery movies, and sci-fi cinema
Cinemas - the best in town, plus specialty house that show cult films.
BEVERLY GARLAND HOTEL: This is not exactly a haunted hang-out, but it deserves to be mentioned because it is named after the actress who starred in numerous horror and science-fiction films, especially during the 1950s.
Although she was in hard-boiled film noir like D.O.A. (1949) and played the Lois’s mom on the THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, Beverly Garland (official home page) is fondly remembered by sci-fi fans for her lead roles in IT CONQUERED THE WORLD (1956) and NOT OF THIS EARTH (1957), both for prolific producer-director Roger Corman, not to mention CURUCU - BEAST OF THE AMAZON (1956) and THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE (1959), with Lon Chaney, Jr. More recently in the 1990s, she appeared with Ben Cross (CHARIOTS OF FIRE) in the direct-to-video HAUNTED SYMPHONY, which Corman co-produced in Russia.
The Beverly Garland hotel features a comfortable ambiance, swimming pool and exercise room, a back area that feels like a wooded forest. There is a bar called Splash and a nice restaurant with very good food called Tulsa. The lobby features an amusing painting of Hollywood Boulevard, with the title “Not of This Earth” on the marquee for El Capitan Theatre (a billing that surely never took place in real life), and there are dozens of photographs from Garland’s film and TV appearances, including IT CONQUERED THE WORLD and ALLIGATOR PEOPLE.
The hotel used to host Ray Court’s Hollywood Collectors and Celebrities Show (which recently moved to the Hilton Hotel in Burbank). More recently, the hotel has presented Michey Sinardi’s Showstopper Stars Spectacular, which features numerous guests, many of them with fantasy, horror and science-fiction credits — including Ms. Garland herself.
The hotel is located at 5444 Vineland Avenue, North Hollywood. PHONE: 1-800-BEVERLY or 1-818-980-8000. FAX: 1-818-766-0112.Get more information at the official website: www.beverlygarland.com
2311 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank, California
For science-fiction fans, the Fry’s Electronics store in Burbank, at the corner of Hollywood Way and Valhalla Blvd, near the Bob Hope Airport,is a must-see tourist attraction, thanks to decorations that combine elements from such sci-fi classics as MARS ATTACKS, DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THEM, IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, STAR WARS, INDEPENDENCE DAY, and GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA.
The store is so much fun that you might want to visit even if you’re not interested in buying any electronics. In fact, if you just want to hang out, there is a small eatery called the Atomic Cafe, which is situated to resemble a drive-in movie theatre from the 1950s. The “seats” and “tables” are actually hollowed out cars from that time period, and a screen above the grill (surrounded by bubble-head Martians, along with one of the ugly aliens from INDEPENDENCE DAY) projects videos of appropriate films, so you can sit back and enjoy CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON just like your parents (or grandparents) did, decades ago. The menu is limited, but what else would you really want to order in this setting besides a burger, fries, and a soda?
Of course, the place is also filled with the latest software, videogames, and electronic gadgets (need a solar cell to recharge your batteries — you’ve come to the right place!). You’ll want to take your time browsing the aisles and checking out the merchandise, because you never known what new monstrous menace may be lurking around the next corner.
Check out a more in-depth review of the store, illustated with several photosgraphs of the aliens, octopi, flying saucers, robots, and monsters.
HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY: Located in Hollywood at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood, CA 90038 (back-to-back with Paramount Studios, which faces Melrose), this graveyard is the final resting place for many luminaries for the Golden Age of Hollywood. It also features an impressive array of architectural styles, everything from Victorian to Egyptian Revival to Art Deco. Cinespia presents a summer series of screenings every year. The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles conducts an annual walking tour during the month of October, giving a glimpse of the “final resting place of saints, scoundrels and sinners who called Hollywood their home.” There official website is: http://www.hollywoodforever.com. Phone: (323) 469-1181. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOLLYWOOD WAX MUSEUM: Along with the usual movie star celebrity figures, this attraction on Hollywood Blvd. offers up a wide range of your science fiction stars: Linda Carter as Wonder Woman, Michael Keaton as Batman, the cast of the original STAR WARS trilogy. There is also a nice “Chamber of Horrors,” where you can see classic ghouls like the Phantom of the Opera and Dracula, along with more contemporary figures like Alien and Pinhead. HOLLYWOOD WAX MUSEUM, 6767 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028. Hours: 365 days, 10:00am to midnight. Phone: 323-462-8860. Email: email@example.com Official website: www.hollywoodwax.com
You can find a complete review (with pictures) here.
NOVA EXPRESS: NO LONGER IN OPERATION. Sci-fi fans who overlooked their opportunity to visit this eatery-nightclub, should kick themselves: an interior (illuminated by eerie black lights) that suggests the interior of a space ship (complete with a Star Trek-type “view screen” on which the films are projected), replete with actions figures and toys (anime and comic book characters abound), not to mention the monstrous figure of the Elder God Cthulhu himself, who for some reason is not sleeping in his undersea city of R’lyeah but has instead positioned himself in the corner, from whence his evil eyes can observe the evening’s festivities (why he is wearing bunny ears is a question we will not attempt to answer here). The cafe features guest DJs on Mondays and Thursdays, old sci-fi movies every Tuesday, and live music on Wednesdays. Also, they claim to serve the “best pizza in the galaxy” (and lots of other great food and drinks, the later with and without alcohol). Check out their website for more information. NOVA EXPRESS CAFE, 426 N. Fairfax Avenue, Hollywood. Hours: 7 days a week, 7:00pm to 4:00am. (323) 658-7533.