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Hollywood Blvd Costumed Characters
You can never be sure what famous fake you'll find near Grauman's Chinese Theater!Where can you spend the afternoon joking with Jack Sparrow, smiling with Spiderman or chatting with Charlie Chaplain? On Hollywood Boulevard in Southern California, where else?
How do you hobnob with the heroes? It's simple---head to the area of Hollywood Blvd directly in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Hollywood & Highland mall. On any given morning of the week, you'll find a collection of superheroes, villains, children's favorites, or movie stars from days gone by waiting to greet you. All fakes, of course. But, fun nevertheless!
WHO are these Hollywood costumed characters? Some are would-be actors waiting for their next job. Others simply enjoy making their living as a street performer.
How do they earn money? The costumed characters on Hollywood Boulevard wait for tourists who'd like to snap a photo or two standing beside them. They earn their living entirely by tips which the tourists then give them.
Who employs the Hollywood Blvd costumed characters? Actually, NO ONE does! Graumann's Theater doesn't sponsor them, and neither do any other businesses in the area. The characters simply show up. There are a few rules: they must stand on the public sidewalk, and they must not harass or threaten the tourists concerning the monetary donations. (Harassment of tourists when they've failed to leave a tip to the characters HAS happened in the past. Thanks to the timely arrests of several characters, this is not likely to happen when you pose with one of the characters. The tips are the way the Hollywood Blvd characters earn money, but they must remain voluntary.)
What regulations govern the characters? Currently, Hollywood Blvd characters do not have to have a license or permit. If that should ever change...if laws or regulations should be enacted...then it's quite likely that tourists would have fewer characters to view. And, what a shame that would be! The heroes, villains and fantasy creatures that prowl this famous thoroughfare add a lively and unique "flavor" to this special district.
1.) Superheros are regularly spotted along Hollywood Blvd. Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern and Wolverine have all been sighted in the area!
2.) Children's favorites appear on Hollywood Boulevard, as well. Some characters who have shown up by Hollywood & Highland include Snoopy (the popular Peanuts pet,) Tigger (from Winnie the Pooh stories,) Sponge Bob (the Nickelodeon TV cartoon kid's fave,) Cat in the Hat (from Dr. Seuss stories,) and Elmo (from Sesame Street.) Along with the Superheroes...who are also popular with kids...these actors tend to be very good with children. Characters whose mouths are uncovered usually try to chat with the kiddies as they pose, while characters whose heads are enclosed by the costume use pantomimes and gestures.
3.) Popular movie roles, such as characters from the Star Wars series, various horror movies (yikes!) and Pirates of the Caribbean. Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz is frequently spotted, as well.
4.) Famous actors and actresses of yore, can sometimes be found...such as the Marilyn Monroe or Charlie Chaplin imitators. (You can see a photo of them on the "Hollywood Attractions" page of this website.)
Star Wars Characters!
Beware: Darth Vader or Storm Troopers stalk Hollywood Blvd!As you can tell by the pictures on this page, you just may run into a character from the Star Wars movies during your visit to Hollywood Boulevard!
Is there a SCHEDULE OF APPEARANCES by the Star Wars characters? Sadly, there is not! Since no particular business employs the Hollywood Blvd characters, there is no one regulating which characters can be seen in the tourist district at any time. The individual actors generally have one specialty character they each portray. Whether or not the actor shows up on Hollywood Blvd the day you are visiting will depend on his or her personal schedule. Some of the actors are also students or have other employment, and only show up in masquerade on Hollywood Blvd on their days off from these other occupations.
WHICH STAR WARS CHARACTERS are ever seen by the Grauman's Chinese Theater? Darth Vader and hairy Chewbacca can sometimes be seen. A white-clad Storm Trooper has been making his appearance since regularly since at least 2004...and as of 2008, continues to appear on numerous occasions.
Where else can you see Darth Vader and storm troopers...plus Darth Maul and Jedi Masters, as well? At the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, CA! Currently a Star Wars-themed show (called The Jedi Training Academy) is part of their entertainment offerings. Though it's aimed at kids...who can participate and get into some hand-to-hand combat with the Imperial forces...the show also provides some good-natured fun for Star Wars fans, as well. If you'd like to get an idea what the show's all about, you may visit the Jedi Training Academy Pictures page of this website.
Captain Jack Sparrow
Beware of pirates lurking on Hollywood Boulevard!Can the pirate JACK SPARROW ever be spotted on Hollywood Blvd? Yes, as a matter of fact, he can! And, as you can tell, there was at least one day on which not just one, but TWO Jack Sparrows showed up!
The Captain Jack Sparrow who dons a frock coat and hat is particularly realistic-looking. He has obviously invested in one of the best costumes available on the market, and has studied the exact makeup, hair and accessories used in creating the memorable Jack Sparrow "look" that's seen in the three blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
Note: if you're looking to create your OWN Jack Sparrow costume...either for a Halloween party or some other type of masquerade event...you can get some tips from the "Jack Sparrow Costume" pages of this website.
* Jack Sparrow Costume, pt 1 talks about assembling a Captain Jack costume from clothing you may already have at home, as well as Jack Sparrow makeup tips. You'll also see Madame Tussaud's Jack Sparrow pictures (VERY realistic-looking wax figures from the Las Vegas Madame Tussaud's museum.)
* Captain Jack Costume, pt 2 covers sewing or buying your pirate costume from a shop.
Superhero Characters on Hollywood Blvd
Spiderman, Superman and X-Men to the rescue!If you're in peril from pirates and the Star Wars bad guys while investigating the Hollywood tourist sights, never fear---it's not uncommon to find costumed superheroes on Hollywood Boulevard!
Superhero characters are some of the most popular of the costumed imitators. Usually, they're also some of the more outgoing characters. Their mouths aren't trapped inside a costume head, and they're free to ham it up with the tourists...or make some little kid feel really special that he's "just met Superman!" (Towards the top of this page, you can also see the photo of an excited little tyke getting to meet Batman!)
As you can see in the adjacent photo, "Spiderman" can be quite a live wire...drumming up business by hopping up onto a sidewalk trash can!
Sometimes Superwoman puts in an appearance, becoming a favorite with some of the male tourists who enjoy her attractive figure and short-skirted outfit.
The Green Lantern, Flash, and Wolverine (AKA Logan from the X-Men) are other superheros you just might run across when you visit Hollywood Boulevard!
Hollywood Blvd Characters -- Kids FavoritesWhat could be better than meeting Superman "in person?" Meeting Superman AND the Cat in the Hat at the same time! Kids can actually do this on Hollywood Blvd...at least, on days when both of these 2 characters happen to show up!
As mentioned above on this page, the Hollywood Blvd costumed characters aren't hired by any of the area's businesses...they just "come & go" of their own accord. Nevertheless, your children will almost always be able to find one or more characters which particularly appeals to their age group.
When will you find the best selection of characters on Hollywood Blvd? Since the costumed characters make their living solely on tips from taking snapshots with tourists, you'll find them during the hours when tourists are most likely to be strolling along Hollywood Boulevard...looking at the stars along the Walk of Fame and fitting their feet into the footprints enshrined in cement at the Grauman's Chinese Theater courtyard.
One reader asked, "Are there ever any X-Men characters on Hollywood Blvd?" The answer is, "On occasion." On your left, you see a picture of a Wolverine costumed character on Hollywood Blvd...impersonating one of the most popular X-Men. The best advice to fans of the X-Men or any other particular character is to expect that your particular favorite character will NOT be on Hollywood Blvd the day of your visit. Since there's no shedule of character appearance, it would be very easy to get disappointed. The strolling characters haven't always been on Hollywood Boulevard, and their presence is always in peril...because laws could someday be passed restricting them. It's best to just "enjoy the atmosphere" that their presence brings, making this tourist haven much livlier than ever, than to expect to see one particular character.
Note: Hollywood Costume Shops: Some readers have reached this page looking for information about Hollywood costume shops. That information can be found on the Southern California Costume Stores page.