Up until recently, I lived in Los Angeles. And one of the worst parts of living in LA was when family or friends would come to visit you from out of state for the first time. Because invariably they would want to go visit Hollywood Boulevard, home to the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. And sure, if you love the smell of urine and being harassed by weirdos in superhero costumes, it can be a ton of fun! But some of us don't care for that sort of thing.
Still, even with my disdain for the tourist trap, it's heartbreaking to see how lockdown measures from the state and county have nearly destroyed most of the businesses on the iconic strip.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, some of the most popular attractions have been closed perpetually since the very beginning of the pandemic.
Much of Hollywood Boulevard is shuttered, with such crowd favorites as the Dolby, El Capitan, Chinese Theatre, Ripley's Believe It or Not and Hard Rock Cafe closed since March.
The famous Madame Tussauds wax museum tried to reopen in June before it was shut down again just two days later by new county lockdown rules.
Mark Echeverria, COO of Musso & Frank Grill said "Seventy-five percent is boarded up, and that's depressing."
Here's a video showing just how empty it all is.
Mark Roman, who for the past six years has dressed up as Captain America to pose for photos with tourists, lamented, "the heyday of busking on Hollywood Boulevard is over."
Only time will tell how much damage has been done by draconian lockdown orders and pandemic fear-mongering. It really is sad.