Hollywood at Night: More Than Bars and Nightclubs

Hollywood Boulevard at Night
••• ©2006 Betsy Malloy Photography

If you remember the opening scene from the film Pretty Woman where Edward picks up the hooker Vivian, you may have an image of what Hollywood is like at night. While some might call that film a classic, it's not a flattering image of the area. Fortunately, the street scene it portrays ended years ago.

Today, there's a lot to see and do in Hollywood after the sun goes down. And it doesn't all involve drinking and dancing, either.

In fact, some of it is great fun for an entire family.

10 Great Things to Do in Hollywood at Night

  1. Go to the Movies in a Classic Film Palace: You might think, "how boring!" but don't. Seeing a film in one of the grand Hollywood movie palaces is worth the price of admission, no matter what's showing on the silver screen. Use your favorite movie times app to check the Egyptian Theatre, Grauman's Chinese, - or the Cinerama Dome or Vista Theatre on Sunset Boulevard. And if you've got the kids with you, you can't beat the El Capitan for watching Disney films. It has a fantastic pre-movie show, too.
  2. Go to the Movies at Hollywood Forever: Far from being dead (pardon the pun), this is the liveliest cemetery around. On summer nights, Cinespia screens classic films at the old cemetery. No reservations are needed, and the donation/entry fee is reasonable. you do need to get there early, though. As weird as it sounds, it's a most enjoyable thing to do — everyone I have taken there agrees and can't stop talking about it.
  1. Walk on Hollywood Blvd: At night, the boulevard is neon-lit, and the Walk of Fame stars shine. Use this guide to find out what's where. If you're lucky, you might even catch the excitement of a movie premiere at the Chinese Theatre.
  2. Go to a Nightclub: You'll find some clubs on Hollywood Boulevard. The Visitor's Bureau's Hollywood Nightclub Guide is a good place to start looking for a place that matches your party style.
  1. Enjoy Magic at the Castle: The Magic Castle is a professional magicians club. It's just a block away from Hollywood Boulevard. This private venue is normally open only to its members, but we can tell you how to get in.
  2. Be in the Audience at Jimmy Kimmel Live: It's easy, and it's free. Get tickets at 1 Iota.
  3. Go to the Hollywood Bowl: On a summer night, there's not much better. Use our guide to find out how to get the best seats, where to picnic and how to enjoy it to the max.
  4. Go Bowling: Lucky Strike Lanes at Hollywood at Highland aren't anything like the tired, old bowling alley that comes to mind. Instead, they're an upscale, modernized remake.
  5. Theatre: The Pantages stages the big, Broadway-style productions. You can also head up to the North Hollywood Arts District for edgy, little theatres with edgy and interesting productions and lower ticket prices. And I can't resist mentioning my favorite Los Angeles venue, the Fountain Theatre. It's a tiny venue in an unlikely spot that's attracting national attention and world premieres of award-winning playwrights - and for good reason.
  6. What to Avoid: Stay west of Vine Street on Hollywood Boulevard - or even better, just keep between Highland and Orange or La Brea. To the east of that, there's little to interest a visitor.

    More Things You Can Do in Hollywood

    There's a lot more to do in Hollywood, day and night. You may also want to check out the most popular things to do in Hollywood - with their pluses and minuses.

    There's a lot to do in Hollywood that doesn't cost a single dime. You can find them in the Guide to Things to Do for Free in Hollywood.