Madame Tussauds Hollywood – Phase 1 Construction – The Haunted Parking Lot

Before the great Madame Tussauds Wax Museum Building on Hollywood and Orange was erected, tourists walking to and fro the Hollywood Highland center would dodge cars coming in and out of the busy overpriced parking lot that used to be there. Vendors rented the outer edge next to the Grauman’s TCL Chinese Theater and sold tourist novelties of all sorts out of tents which gave a real flea market effect. There was a row of pay phones that never worked and no protection from the sun which the Tussauds Building now gives cover from part of the day. I was a street performer at that time, the Cat in the Hat, the tourist’s would line up in front of the Kodak Theatre to get pictures with me left and right. When I would venture by the parking lot the photos stopped, with the cars blocking the sidewalk and the blistering sun hurling itself directly upon my costume, pure misery I tell ya. That all changed one day to my amazement when someone decided to release wild hogs in that old run down dilapidated parking lot, Wild Hogs on DVD that is.

The whole lot was rented and a Wild Hogs DVD Release Party was set up to look just like a small town Strawberry Festival with games, a mechanical bull, and free food and drinks. Live music from an awesome live country band filled the airwaves as everyone enjoyed themselves from the tourist to the panhandler. Always carrying a pocket camera I got great footage of the event but YouTube claimed copyright on the music those good old boys were playing, it’s hopefully still on one of my hard drives.

Months earlier I was Playing around with a friends camcorder on the night of the Wild Hogs Movie Premiere at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre and filmed the cast coming out. The footage went home with the friend though, bummer.

Things changed forever between myself and the parking lot after that day, cars stopped parking there, the vendors in the tents disappeared, the pay phones were ripped out, and bulldozers showed up, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum was on its way. My amateur low quality shot of the parking lot sign being torn down by a bulldozer is without a doubt my all time favorite piece of cinema, lol. I had planned to film all construction phases but only got so far after gaining a HD Camera from the Circuit City going out of business sale, the pocket camera I carried to Hollywood Blvd. everyday no longer interested me after editing HD footage.

It seemed like forever but eventually a bright new building stood in the place of that wretched parking lot which not only kept the sun off my new Barney Costume but also extended the euphoria of the tourists who would line up to my left and right for photos while entering, leaving, and merely passing by Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

About The Author:
While working the tourists on Hollywood Blvd. as a street performer I always carried a pocket camera, when things got slow I would make chintzy productions with the other performers then stay up all night editing. After making over 300 short films I wrote a movie called Woggie, it’s about life as a Hollywood Character, I filmed it over a 3.5 year span. Enjoy, Abe R. Rated.
Abe R. Rated and Spiderman

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Woggie (2012)
A man moves to Los Angeles seeking fame and fortune but ends up wearing a dinosaur costume at the Hollywood and Highland Mall taking photos with tourists for tips. After foiling the hi jacking of a Metro bus in his costume by accident, a college student decides to feature the costumed hero in her final school project, a documentary.
Abe R. Rated

Abe R. Rated
Jessica Molly
Dylan Shepherd

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A man travels to Los Angeles seeking fame but ends up in a dinosaur costume at the Hollywood Highland Mall offering photos to tourists for money.
Written & directed by Abe R. Rated.