Ask Chris: Hollywood And Vine’s 15 Minutes

How the intersection got its claim to fame

Q: Why is the intersection of Hollywood and Vine famous? There’s nothing there.

A: In May of 1936, Wendell Niles from radio station KFWB brought a microphone to the corner and started a man-on-the-street program. “Niles was a big announcer on radio shows for Bob Hope and George Burns,” says L.A. vocal legend Gary Owens. Niles’s popularization of the corner as shorthand for Hollywood was copied by newspaper reporters and gossip columnists alike and even led to the (terrible) feature film Hollywood and Vine, which was released in 1945. The radio show is gone, but you can still watch celebrities through the glass at the online entertainment network BiteSize TV, whose studios are located in the W Hotel.