Saskia's 15 minutes of fame in Hollywood
Quite an unexpected thing happened today. We booked tickets to see the Disney/Pixar film "Cars" at the El Capitan cinema on Hollywood Boulevard (just opposite the Kodak Theatre where we had earlier in the day been "moved on" due to the arrival of a minor Japanese film star on the red carpet, dressed in a ball gown at 10 in the morning...) The El Capitan is a restored 1920s cinema where Disney often premieres its new films. Now movies shown at the El Capitan have several peculiarities. First there is a glitzy organ prelude on the world's flashiest Wurlitzer organ featuring a dazzling pot-pourri of Disney themes. A true end-of-the-pier experience (not that I ever had one of those). Then the guy disappears into the floor with his organ (sadly it doesn't revolve and he doesn't look like Terry Jones from Monty Python) and we are treated to a live stage show (!) before the film begins. Bright lights, loud music and two fast talking cheerleader style comperes.
This time since the theme of the film was race cars they had a real pit stop team on stage changing and refuelling one in 15 seconds. This was followed by a competition in which 6 members of the audience were picked to compete against each other in two teams. Saskia put up her hand to to volunteer and was picked! We were nervous that she wouldn't understand the instructions or be struck with stage-fright but no, her role in pushing a big racing tyre across the stage was the key to her team's victory.
So we entered the cinema as humble tourists and left as the proud parents of a new Hollywood star, owner of a "Cars" world premiere baseball cap and a pair of kid-size mechanics gloves! And the film was pretty good too. Now if only we hadn't left the camera in the car...
Earlier in the day we had visited the La Brea tar pits (smelly but otherwise not so exciting) and LACMA, but Saskia found the museum boring (well we were at the Getty Center yesterday) and we had to cut it a bit short. We managed to take in an exhibition of David Hockney's portraits, which was very interesting. We lost one of Marit's sandals so we had to take a drive "around the block" (i.e. a 20 minute car ride) to get a new pair at a shopping mall in West Hollywood. Maps are deceptive here - everything is ten times further away than you think and nothing, just nothing is within walking distance of anything else.