When you’re in Los Angeles, posing with a Hollywood “star” along the Hollywood Walk of Fame is practically a rite of passage—and it’s also one of the city’s most beloved free attractions. Here’s everything you need to know about seeing Hollywood stars on the sidewalk at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
History of Hollywood Walk of Fame
Honoring luminaries in motion pictures, television, radio, live theatre, and recording since 1960, the famous sidewalk includes both sides of Hollywood Boulevard from Gower to La Brea, plus both sides of Vine Street from Yucca to Sunset. The handsome stars (each costs about $30,000 to install and maintain) are unveiled at free public ceremonies, which are often attended by honorees and their celebrity entourages—a great way to see stars if that’s one of your Hollywood goals (and isn’t it everyone’s?).
E.M. Stuart, then a volunteer president for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, is credited with the idea for creating the Walk of Fame in 1953. Come 1955, a design was proposed to the Los Angeles City Council. No one seems to agree on the origin for the stars themselves, but by 1956 a final design featuring terrazzo and brass stars was approved. Over the following year, over 1,500 honorees, spanning all areas of the entertainment industry, were selected. After some legal contention over the project, the first permanent star—honoring director Stanley Kramer—was completed. Since that initial installation of 1,500 stars (somewhere between 1960 and 1961), the Hollywood Walk of Fame has seen its share of ups, downs, and reconstruction.
The latest project, called the “Walk of Fame Master Plan” has completed its planning stages and is now looking to secure the funds for construction with the goal of being completed by 2026. The project “aims to create an inclusive space with wider sidewalks, additional shade trees, a protected mobility lane, and pedestrian safety enhancements.”
Who Does the Hollywood Walk of Fame Honor?
Honoring luminaries in motion pictures, television, radio, live theatre, and recording since 1960, The Hollywood stars are unveiled at free public ceremonies, which are often attended by honorees and their celebrity entourages.
And don’t think this is about honoring has-beens or where-are-they-nows: Getting a star is still considered a very big deal to both the in-the-know public and within the industry, with an impressive roster of recent honorees (Uma Thurman, Mindy Kaling, Ralph Macchio, the Jonas Brothers, to name a few).
Anyone, including fans, can nominate a celebrity if the celebrity or his/her management agree with the nomination. Once a year a committee goes through the approximately 200-300 applications and approves the star selections for the following year, with about 30 stars being selected each year. Once a celebrity is selected, they are actually responsible for a $50,000 fee, which is used to pay for the creation and installation of the star, as well as the maintenance of the Walk of Fame.
Where Is the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
The famous sidewalk includes both sides of Hollywood Boulevard from Gower to La Brea, plus both sides of Vine Street from Yucca to Sunset. It is about 12 miles from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which can take anywhere from a half hour to more than an hour to get to by car, depending on traffic.
Who Has a Hollywood Star?
With more than 2,700 stars along the sidewalk, odds are some of your favorite celebrities have a star. Want to find a particular star? Use the Walk of Fame’s online Star Search tool.
How Do I Attend a Hollywood Star Ceremony?
Attending a Walk of Fame Star Ceremony is free—a great way to see stars if that’s one of your Hollywood goals (and isn’t it everyone’s?). There are no tickets or fees, but that means you must arrive early, wear sunscreen, and hydrate. All ceremonies take place at 11:30 a.m. and end by 12:15 p.m. Keep up on upcoming events on the Walk of Fame website.
Want to look back on a past ceremony? The site also features videos of former ceremonies under the profile for the star.
Things to Do Near the Hollywood Walk of Fame
While you’re there, you’re a short walk from such big Hollywood Boulevard attractions as TCL Chinese Theatre, El Capitan Theatre, and Madame Tussauds Hollywood, and a short drive from such West Hollywood attractions— to name just a few—as the Sunset Strip, the WeHo Design District, and some of the best music venues in the city.
If you’re looking to make an evening out of your adventure, nothing beats a concert beneath the stars at the Hollywood Bowl. Everyone from the Beatles to Lady Gaga have performed here over the decades, and you can feel the history all around. Get out early for a picnic dinner, and look into the free museum, which celebrates the Hollywood Bowl’s unique place in musical history.