MAR 9 FAQ'S ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME
Yesterday was a huge day for Star Wars fans. Luke Skywalker finally got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. What a ceremony! Surrounded by Imperial Storm-Troopers, Mark Hamil beamed with joy outside the El Captain Theatre. Even Han Solo was there! For those of you wondering why it took forty years for this to happen, we here at the DUNER BLOG have answers about this unique, but complicated, landmark.
Who oversees the Walk of Fame? This difficult job is in the hand of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. While officially in the city limits of Los Angeles, the special neighborhood has its own form of ceremonial self-government. It also has its own mayor...although since Johnny Grant passed six years ago, the position has been vacant. To get a star, you must be nominated by your studio. About twenty nominations get approved each year. Disney, the new owner of the Star Wars franchise, decided it was time to give the nod to Luke.
How did it all start? Our story begins in the 1950's. Hollywood councilman Harry Sugarman was constantly asked by tourists: "Where are the stars? Why can't we see them?" As the legend goes, Harry and buddy E.M. Stewart had lunch to discuss the problem. They drew stars on cocktail napkins and wrote famous names in the middle. At first, they hung them on the wall, like they do at Sardi's in NYC. Over time, the idea evolved into a the Walk of Fame. Eight were unveiled in 1958, but the event generated little fanfare. In fact, it was buried on page 23 of the L.A. Times.
Who pays for the Walk? As expected, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce receives no taxpayer
Finally, if you decide the visit the Walk of Fame, here are a couple tips: Plan ahead and locate where your favorite stars are ahead of time. Most people haven't heard of 95% of the "celebs" who have achieved the honor. Also, be prepared for crowds. Ten million people make the pilgrimage annually!