Hooray for Hollywood! — Photo gallery

By Elina Antoniou, 16, James Monroe HS
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The architecture at Hollywood & Highland is so elaborate and impressive. It doesn't look like at all like the average mall.

Hollywood & Highland, the new $615 million mall with 75 shops, restaurants and a theater, gleams from the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue like the crown jewel of the city.

Once you step inside the mall’s courtyard, it feels like you’re taken to another era. Statues of gigantic white elephants standing on their hind legs look like they’re ready to charge off the plaster columns that support them. A plaster scene of two roaring lions cornering a winged man are on a wall in the north part of the mall. Four floors are scooped out of that wall to provide walkways for shoppers. Take a second look at the top walkway and through it you can see the famous Hollywood sign nestled in the hills, so you can remember exactly where you are.

It feels like Hollywood is cleaning up its act and stepping into a new era with this pristine new mall. But old Hollywood with its weird wig shops, tattoo parlors and strange clothing stores still surround it—thankfully.

The strange combination of the old gritty Hollywood and the new glitzy one feels overall like the city has a split personality, which is the reason we all love going to Hollywood in the first place.

L.A. Youth’s thoughts on Hollywood and Highland …

"The mall is nice, but the stores are expensive. I’ll come back again to eat sometime at one of their nice restaurants. Hollywood is different and exciting. You have to pay to get into most places around here. That’s a bummer."
—Johanna Bautista, 13, Hale MS

"Your parents have to be Stephen Spielberg or Julia Roberts if you want to buy anything here. The boulevard is more fun."
—Whitney Stefko, 16, Monroe HS

"It’s a good atmosphere with lots of people. I didn’t pay attention to the stores. I just came to Hollywood to walk around."
—Hassan Nicholas, 18

"I liked the mall. It’s really nice even if you are not going to buy anything there. It’s nice to sit around people-watch. It’s better than sitting at home doing homework."
—Ana Cikara, 16, Monroe HS

"The mall is impressive, but I’d rather walk around the boulevard to check out the traditional shops. Next time I come here, I’ll bring my wallet to buy stuff."
—Elina Antoniou, 16, Monroe HS