Monday, August 4, 2014

Field trips in August-Hollywood

This was a fun and interesting day!  I was the tour guide/tour director.  My small group from Saddleback Church had decided that we wanted to take a trip to Hollywood to attend our new campus in Hollywood at the Hollywood Palladium.  We had decided we were going to take Metrolink, which on the weekends cost $10 and includes bus rides and light rail.  This was nice, as we were going to take the Red Line from Union Station to the Hollywood and Vine station.  The walk from the Hollywood and Vine station to the Hollywood Palladium was a long block walk.

We left Irvine station around 9:20 and made it to the Hollywood Palladium, almost in time for service  to start at 11 a.m.

Decor inside the Hollywood and Vine station

View of an Amtrak train at the Irvine station

Inside of Union Station
After service, which definitely felt like Saddleback Church, we headed out to find something for lunch.  The group of us ended up at The Melt, which specializes in Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.  YUM!  Every place else we went to had an hour to hour and a half wait.  Too long!

After we ate lunch, we headed out for a short tour of the area.  One of the places we stopped was Amoeba Music.

Amoeba Music has been in existence since 1990 and caters to independent music lovers of all kinds.  There are stores in Berkeley, San Francisco and Hollywood.  The stores stock every kind of usic and movies, from the top 40 to the best in underground rock and hip-hop, soul, electronic, new and classic jazz, world music, roots music and experimental music.  The stores have DVD's and vinyls and books and posters.  Amoeba Music is a trading post for new and used discs, their stock changes daily and you can find just about anything.  Their website says they are more than a record store, they are a 21st century music outlet, a website and a popular live performance venue.  The store in Hollywood is located on the Sunset Strip and constantly hosts incredible free live performances and musical events.    When we walked in to the store, one of our group said it reminded them of Tower Records.  Amoeba Music still exists, Tower Records does not.

As we continued walking down Sunset towards Highland, we stopped at a beautiful church that I have seen from the outside, but never from the inside.  The church is known as the Blessed Sacrament Church.

Blessed Sacrament Church was formed in 1904, and the first church, accommodated 250 people and was built on Hollywood Blvd.  As the movie business developed in the 1910's, the population of Hollywood increased dramatically and by 1919, the old church was not large enough to accommodate all the people.  In 1921, the church bought the land on Sunset Blvd, that is the current home of the church.

The new church and school were designed by Thomas Franklin Power.  Power designed  the school, which opened in 1923, in an Italian Renaissance style.  The enrollment at the time of the opening was 370 students.  In 1919, the school had 140 students.  Power then turned his attention to the church, which he adapted from Basilican style of Italian Renaissance style.  The roof was made of tile instead of the flat roof typical of Roman churches.  He designed the interior with flanking arches reminiscent of the San Paolo and St. Clement Basilicas in Rome.  The new church was dedicated in June, 1928, with a 223 foot chimes tower, ornate exterior and seating for 1400 people.

The completion of the interior decoration and ornamentation was delayed when the Great Depression began in 1929.  One interior element that did move forward during the Depression was the Stations of the Cross.  Carlo Wostry, who was a noted Italian artist, had been hired to paint murals at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Pasadena, and was also hired to paint the Stations of the Cross at Blessed Sacrament.  He started working on the Stations in Italy in 1930 and finished them in 1932.  Finally in 1951, J. Earl Trudeau was hired to complete the interior design.  the interior work was was finally completed in early 1954 and was chosen by Trudeau to be a simpler treatment, featuring economy of means both in the artistic and economic senses.

From there we headed up to Hollywood and Highland to see the shopping center, the "action" and Grauman's Chinese Theater.  At the corner of Hollywood and Highland, is the Red Line, which we took back to Union Station.  We explored Union Station and got some ice cream and sat in one of the patios until our train was scheduled to head back to Irvine.  It was a fun and interesting day.


  1. Thanks for the information about Blessed Sacrament Church. I've been there a couple of times for Mass. It's really beautiful!

  2. You are so welcome! I agree it is a beautiful church!