Volume 9, No. 2: Jun, 2008


    Issue 2, Volume 9 - Summer 2008



    HMD Honors Councilmember LaBonge

    On April 3, 2008, members of the Hollywood Media District Board of Directors, along with stakeholders and community leaders, gathered with representatives from the City and Council District 4 to dedicate the new Highland Avenue Medians. 

    The BID also presented 4th District Councilmember Tom LaBonge with the first ever “Trolley Track Award”.

    The award was an actual piece of the trolley track found underneath layers of asphalt during the excavation of Highland Avenue in preparation to construct the medians, with an engraved plate affixed to it.  The BID presented the award to the Councilmember to express gratitude for his assistance in getting the medians constructed. 

    “This great project demonstrates how the city works creatively with business leaders and residents to make Los Angeles more beautiful,” the Councilmember said. “Together, we’ve built new civic landmarks in the middle of a fully developed part of Hollywood. That’s smart urban planning.”

    The medians, which are landscaped with palm trees, were completed in December in a public/private partnership between the City of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Media District. The Media District spent about $300,000 from its assessment fees to design, construct and maintain the medians. Council District 4 will reimburse the permit and inspection fees for this project from State funds provided through the relinquishment of Highland Avenue to the City.

    Meanwhile, the remaining three medians yet to be constructed on Highland Avenue south of Santa Monica Blvd. have been pushed back yet again by the Bureau of Street Services.  Those medians will be funded through the MTA Pedestrian Improvement Grant.

    In other grant news, we are awaiting a proposal for a contractor to take on the projects involved with the Wayfinding Grant, which includes two more gateway signs, new theatre row numbered banners, street name signage and directional signage.

    Connecting Homeless with Help

    The Hollywood Media District is proud to partner with many other organizations in and around the Hollywood Community for the Project Y!MBY (Yes! In My Backyard) Connect Day.

    The event, which will be held on Thursday, June 26 from 7am – 1pm at the Music Box Theatre (6126 Hollywood Blvd.), will connect the local homeless population with services including medical, legal, housing, benefits, birth certificates, California ID cards, groceries and supplies.

    On that day, outreach teams will be providing rides to the event, and busses will be pickup up from Hollywood Park, at Cahuenga Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd in the BID.  Please feel free to let any homeless persons you may encounter know about this event.  For flyers or more information, contact Devin at dstrecker@mediadistrict.org. 

    Not only will many service providers, health organizations, and social services be on hand to assist homeless people, there will also be breakfast and lunch provided for all clients and volunteers, as well as entertainment and gift bags.

    In addition to HMD, organizations that have been preparing the event include PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), The Hollywood Entertainment District, Sunset and Vine BID, Council District 13, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, CRA/LA, Gettlove, SOVA, HHYP (Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership), the County of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, City of West Hollywood, and The Music Box Theatre. 

    HMD Website upgraded

    The Media District has launched a new and improved website, which will enable stakeholders to post their own available properties and job openings.

    The new website was constructed by Tom Edgar, keeping the same basic design of the preexisting site but enhancing user-friendliness and making it easier for staff to update new items and meeting schedules, ultimately creating an easier way for stakeholders to keep up to date with BID happenings.

    The map is now interactive and can be used to explore the businesses in the district and to view aerial photos.  A FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions page) has been added as a resource for those unfamiliar with the Media District and BIDs in general.

    Another new feature of the website is the history page, which includes many historic photos of people and places in the district from many years ago.  

    The site will now continue to grow and be updated on a regular basis with new photos and updates.

    Huge thanks to our ad-hoc website committee: Wil Anabel (Mader Inc.), Ron Groper (McCadden Space Studio), and Steve Loverro (West Coast Photo).

    Stepping Up to Success

    On Friday, June 13, members of the Hollywood Business Community took a field trip to visit Step Up on Second in Santa Monica.  The trip was organized by the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance.

    HMD Board President Carol Cassella (Ren-Mar Studios), Board Member Michael Parker (Mole Richardson), and Operations Coordinator Devin Strecker were among the group who toured the facility, which is a permanent supportive housing site for formerly homeless individuals with mental illness.  In addition to 36 furnished, permanent single apartments, there is also the Fresh Start mini-mart and catering service, where Step Up participants receive valuable on-the-job training while making a positive contribution to the community.  A center for young adults ages 18-28, Daniel’s Place, is also on site, as well as psychiatrists for medication support.

    On site case managers provide support for residents, and oversee classes, activities, support groups, and training, among many other services.

    The goal of the visit was to begin formulating ideas and support for new permanent, supportive housing and facilities to be built in Hollywood, to ultimately end homelessness in Hollywood in 10 years.

     911 Mysteries Unveiled

    At the monthly HMD/LAPD Business Watch on June 12, employees from the Communications Division of the LAPD gave a presentation on the inner-workings of the city’s emergency service call center, also known as 9-1-1.

    Jennifer Chavis and Angela Rodriguez informed and entertained those in attendance with stories facts about the 9-1-1 call centers, one of which is located downtown; the other in the San Fernando Valley.

    They were able to answer the question, “when you dial 9-1-1 from a cell phone, where does the call go?”  According to Chavis, if a person calls from a cell phone within city limits, it will go to them; if calling from a highway it will most likely go to California Highway Patrol, unless the nearest cell phone tower happens to be within city limits.  In that case, the call will go to LAPD but will be transferred to CHP if the emergency is on a highway.  Chavis warned that because calls from cell phones do not show the exact location of the caller, it is always best to call from a landline whenever possible.

    LAPD’s 9-1-1 call center receives 3.5 million calls per year, 63% of which are not actual emergencies.  Rodriguez advised everyone to call LAPD’s non-emergency number, 877-ASK-LAPD when appropriate.  9-1-1 calls should only be made when there is a life-threatening situation, crime in progress, or a serious crime has just occurred.  When calling 9-1-1, it is important to remain calm and be prepared to answer all the dispatcher’s questions.  Lastly, when calling 9-1-1, it is important that you remain on the line, even if you dial in error. If you dial in error and the call goes through and you didn’t stay on the line, the dispatcher is required to send police to the computer provided location that the call came from to confirm that no emergency exists.

    Next month, the Business Watch will be taking its first ever field trip, to the Metropolitan Dispatch Center which houses the Communications Division.  Sack lunches and transportation will be provided.  If you are interested in participating, please RSVP to Devin at 323-460-6322 before June 30.

      Calling for captains

    The Board of Directors is looking for a few good men and women – to serve as street captains for the BID!  After a Visioning Session on May 6, facilitated by Hormann & Associates, to help clarify the goals of the District, one of the ideas formulated was to involve stakeholders by appointing them as “block captains” or street captains who would get to know their neighbors, take notes on clean and safe issues in their vicinity and report back to the board on a regular basis. 

    Although the 17 board members will take on the role for their own streets, there are many areas left uncovered, and that’s where you come in!  The board members will be reaching out to stakeholders to find volunteers.  If you would like to be a street captain, or for more information, please contact Devin at 323-460-6322.  The BID will provide you with guidelines and the forms which will be turned in for your regular reports.



    -  Homeless Snapshot Approximately 80 volunteers participated in the 2008 Snapshot of Homeless in Hollywood on March 25. The one-night count proved to be a successful first step toward helping the Hollywood community understand the scope and size of our nighttime homeless population. The effort consisted of ten teams, each of which was led by a professional homeless outreach worker, who were trained and then deployed throughout Hollywood between 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. to count the number of homeless individuals sleeping on the streets. Spearheaded by the PATH "Yes In My Backyard" (Y!MBY) committee in partnership with Media District, Hollywood Entertainment District, the Sunset & Vine BID, Council District 13, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and the Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership), the count served as a precursor to a planned registry that will identify Hollywood's homeless by name and circumstance.

    - Holding our for a HERO The Board of CRA/LA (Community Redevelopment Agency) voted on June 19 to approve funding of the HERO (Hollywood Emergency Response Outreach) Team, part of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless).  HMD is a supporter of the team, donating $10,000 in 2008.  Operations Coordinator Devin Strecker attended the hearing to voice support for HERO, as did Kerry Morrison from the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance.  HERO is the only nighttime homeless outreach program in Hollywood, and most likely all of Los Angeles.  Strecker also volunteers with the HERO team once a week.

    - Camera Considerations The Board of Directors voted to approve the last revision of the Metro Video proposal for maintenance of our security camera system, which is shared with the Hollywood Entertainment District and Council District 13, and is monitored by LAPD.  The contract is for one year.

    - Monument Sign Designs for a new monument sign, similar in style to the existing gateway sign but more of a rectangle which sits on the ground, has been approved by the Board of Directors and is currently being constructed by UltraSigns.  The new sign will be placed at the north end of the median at Fountain and Highland, and will use solar power to illuminate at night.  The sign will feature the Media District’s logo and will welcome visitors entering the BID heading southbound on Highland Avenue.

    Security Team training

    Members of the HMD Security Team participated in a training session on Friday, June 13, to educate the guards on ways to prevent situations on the street from escalating.  In addition to techniques for dealing with potentially volatile suspects or situations, guards also received training on report writing and documentation.

    The training was administered by Banyon Hutter, Branch Manager with Universal Protection Services, and Scott Naso, Vice President of UPS.

    Bus Stops nearing completion

    The HMD’s Bus Stop Improvement Project, funded through an MTA grant, is nearing completion, despite running behind schedule. 

    The first step in the process came when MTA temporarily moved the bus stops to new locations in order for construction to commence on existing sites.  Colored concrete was poured in the pattern of a film strip, at which time electrical conduits were installed for pedestrian lighting.

    For the Media District’s match of the grant, new bus benches were installed, along with new trash receptacles and decorative planters which are filled with succulents and drought-resistant plants.

    The last item that needs to be installed is the lighting.  Unfortunately, the contractor hired by the city to install the lighting ordered the wrong kind and we have been waiting for the correct lights to be delivered and installed for many weeks now.

    As soon as the lights are installed, MTA will remove the temporary bus stops and regular service will resume at the new and improved stops.

    Spotlight on: Renberg Theatre

    Despite being half a block away from Santa Monica Blvd., the Renberg Theatre at the LAGLC’s Ed Gould Plaza is one of the jewels of the Hollywood Theatre Row District.  The Media Messenger recently interviewed the Renberg’s Artistic Director, Jon Imparato; and Production Manager, Allison Moon, to find out more about the Theatre and its programs.

    Media Messenger: How long has the Renberg Theatre been operating?

    Jon Imparato and Alison Moon: This year marks our 10th Anniversary.

     MM: Who choses the shows that play there, and what goes into the decision making process?

    AM: Our Artistic Director, Jon Imparato, makes the decisions for our stages.  He bases his choices primarily on the quality of the play and the subject matter- it has to speak to our audience, so we aim for work that represents the diversity and the interests of the LGBT community.  Other practical concerns such as cast size, scene changes and set also affect the decision.

    MM: What do you think distinguishes the Renberg Theatre from the other theatres in the area?

    JI: The Renberg is the only mid-size house on Theater Row with state-of-the-art capabilities.  We also do not rent to outside productions, which ensures we maintain quality control over all the work we present.

    MM: How has the Media District helped the Renberg Theatre?

    JI: Overall, as the Media District seeks to improve the neighborhood with signage and support for all the local theaters, the Renberg benefits.  More businesses mean more clients and improved visibility for our theater.

     MM: What are some additional things the Media District could do to help foster the Theatre Row, including Renberg Theatre?

    AM & JI: We, along with the other theaters, are always looking for new ways to market our shows, particularly to people who may not be familiar with the neighborhood.    Improvements to make the area more “walkable” would also benefit the Renberg.  We are definitely located in a more pedestrian and bike-friendly area than other stretches of the Media District, but there is always room to improve the safety and friendliness of the neighborhood.

    MM: What are some upcoming events at the Theatre that you would like to let us know about?

    AM & JI: We opened a wildly successful show in our Blackbox theater this season “The Lost Plays of Tennessee Williams”- so successful in fact, we had to move it to The Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood.  Despite the move, all the revenue still goes to support the wide range of services provided by the LA Gay & Lesbian Center.  Throughout the rest of the summer and into the fall, we will be producing exciting evenings of theaters and art gallery openings.   All of our information is on our website: www.lagaycenter.org/boxoffice.


    On Theatre Row



    Art/Works Theater, 6569 Santa Monica Blvd., Phone 323-871-1912

    ·          The Next Big Thing, Jul. 19 – Aug. 16; A musical  written by Jeff Favre, Directed by Rachel M    aize and Jeff Favre.  thenextbigthingmusical.com

    The Blank Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd.,

    Banner # 4, Phone: 323-661-9827  

    ·          Young Playwrights Festival, Through June 29. www.theblank.com

    The Complex Theatres, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Banner # 5, Phone: 323-465-0383  

    ·          Touched in the Head of Elizabeth Otero, Written by Elizabeth Otero.  Jun. 26 – Jul. 12.  Call 323-960-7712 myspace.com/touchedhead

    ·          The Works of War Babies, Improv comedy; July 17 – Aug 3.

    ·          I Stand Before You Naked, Written by Joyce Carol Oates, Directed by Eddie Kehler.  Jul. 11 – Aug. 17. Call 323-960-5773

    ·          Outbursts, A one-man show written and performed by Gordon James.  Through Jul. 12. outbursts.net

    Elephant Stageworks, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Banner # 9, Phone: 323-962-0046

    ·          Tooth and Nail, Written by Gene Acosta.  May 9 – June 14; www.elephanttheatre.com

    ·          Tilted Frame, Through Jul. 30.

    ·          the nothing boys, Extended by popular demand. Written by Greg Siff, Directed by Rick Sparks. Through Jul. 27.  thenothingboys.com

    ·          Poor Dog Group, Written by Samual Beckett, featuring live music in Act 2.  Through Jun. 28.

    ·          Desert Sunrise, Written by Misha Shulman, Directed by Ellen Shipley. Jul. 11 – Aug 9. desertsunrisetheplay.com

    ·          Asleep on a Bicycle, Written by Tony Foster. Aug 15 – Sep. 13.

    ·          7 Redneck Cheerleader ’08, Written by Louis Jacobs, Directed by Amy French.  LA Times Critics Pick.  Jul. 18 – Aug. 30.

    ·          The Sand Storm: Stories from the Front, Written by Sean Huze. Backstage West Critics Choice.  Through July 2.

    Celebration Theatre, 7985 Santa Monica Blvd., Phone: 323-957-1884.

    ·          Peter Quill’s Shenanigans, Directed by Max Bird-Ridnell.  Through Jun. 29.

    LAGLC’s Renberg Theater, 1125 N. McCadden Pl.,

    Phone 323-860-7302.

    ·          Kristin Holly Smith Sings Bacharach, One Night Only, Jul. 19. 

    Tickets to all shows available by calling 323-860-7300 or visiting lagaycenter.org/boxoffice

    The Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave.,

    Phone 323-957-5782.

    ·          Call for upcoming shows.   

    The Hudson Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Banner # 1, Phone: 323-661-9827  

    ·          Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, Backstage West Critics Pick.  Written by Bert V. Royal, Directed by Nick DeGruccio.  Through Jul. 6.  havoktheatre.com

    ·          The Last Five Years, Musical.  Aug. 2 – 24. 

    National Comedy Theatre, 733 N. Seward St., Phone: 323-856-4796.

    ·          Comedy Sportz, 8pm on Fridays and Sundays, 8pm and 10:30pm on Saturdays.

    ·          U-Sical, 10:30pm on Fridays.

    ·          ComedySportzKidz, 3pm on the first Saturday of each month.

    ·          College Team, 8pm on Thursdays.

    ·          The High, Thursdays at 10:30pm.  www.comedysportzla.com.

    Unknown Theatre, 1110 N. Seward St., Phone: 323-466-7781. www.unknowntheater.com

    ·          Kingdon Come, Translated by Dan Oliverio, Through Jun. 28

    ·          Eleven Missing Days, A dance/performance project by Meg Wolfe.  Jul. 3 - 13.

    The Media Messenger makes every effort to include accurate information and include all theatres and shows in the District.  Please contact the Theatres for more information on each show.  If you would like to make sure your show is listed in the Messenger, please contact Devin at 323-460-6322.

    Mark Your Calendar

    Hollywood C-PAB

    Community Police Advisory Board

    Tuesday, June 24, 5:30pm

    Hollywood City Hall, 6501 Fountain

    Please e-mail Gary Minzer, minzerdude@aol.com, for more details


    HMD Board of Directors Meeting

    Thursday, June 26, 3:00 PM

    Musician’s Union Auditorium

    917 N. Vine Street

    Please call Devin at 323-460-6322 to RSVP


    Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council

    Monday, June 30, 6pm

    Hollywood City Hall, 6501 Fountain (Corner of Wilcox)

    Please call Debbie Wehbe at 323-465-9036  for more details.


    Business Watch Field Trip

    Thursday, July 10, 11:30 am

    Meet at Hollywood Community City Hall

    6501 Fountain Ave. (Corner of Wilcox)

    Lunch will be provided.

    Please call Devin at 323-460-6322 to RSVP before June 30


    HMD Safe & Clean Committees

    Monday, July 14, 2pm & 3pm

    Ren-Mar Studios, Commissary

    846 N. Cahuenga

    Please call Devin at 323-460-6322 to RSVP


    HMD Board of Directors Meeting

    Thursday, July 24, 3:00 PM

    Musician’s Union Auditorium

    917 N. Vine Street

    Please call Devin at 323-460-6322 to RSVP

    All future meetings and agendas will be posted at www.mediadistrict.org at least 72 hours in advance.

    Hollywood Media District

    Board of Directors


    Carol Cassella, President, Ren-Mar Studios

    Tim Mahoney, Vice President I,

       Hollywood Center Studios

    David Mozes, Vice President II, CMS Group

    Wil Anabel, Treasurer, Mader Inc.

    Ron Groeper, Secretary, McCadden Space Studios


    Matt Chait, The Complex Theaters

    Rick Howard, Albert Sweet Development

    Marc Jacoby, Musicians Credit Union

    Thor Lee, Ramsey Schilling Commercial Realty                             

    Stephen Loverro, West Coast Photo

    Jim McQuiston, McQuiston Associates

    Mike Parker, Mole Richardson

    C. Drew Planting, J. H. Snyder Company

    Brian Scane, Paladin Group

    Eliza Thorne, Seward Film Vaults

    Donald Weinstein, Photo Impact 


    City Services..…………………………..……….……………..311

    BID Office………………………………..……...323-460-6322

    Security Office…………………………..…....323-871-4150

    Susan Levi & Associates…..……..…..….818-780-9100

    LAPD Non Emergency……………………..877-ASK-LAPD

    Quality of Life Line…………………..….…..323-993-5491

    HERO Homeless Outreach Team……..866-923-HERO

    Hollywood Beautification Team…..…..323-962-2163

    Council District 4…………………………….323-957-6514

    Council District 5………………………..…..310-289-0353

    Council District 13………………….……….323-957-4500