Nothing is ever completely normal in Tinseltown, so it shouldn't surprise you to learn that even the town's McDonald's is somewhat unconventional.
The McDonald's on Hollywood Boulevard (just east of Highland) boasts the most expensive exterior of any McDonald's restaurant in the world.
Built in 1987 at a cost of three million dollars, this Tinseltown Big Mac features a glitzy, movie theatre-style marquee out front which displays electronic messages in flashing lights.
Alas, on the downside, there usually seems to be a host of young panhandlers loitering just outside the restaurant, and the expensive electronic marquee often seems not to be working. Also, the restaurant's interior doesn't match its flashy exterior. Inside, it's pretty much a standard McDonald's. In fact, on my last visit it appeared a bit ragged around the edges.
The restaurant does have a few minor extras inside, though: a large skylight to let in sunshine, a few Art Deco wall decorations, and a "Visitors Center," which is merely a map of Hollywood with a selection of free brochures about Hollywood attractions.
And right outside, on the on the Hollywood Walk of Fame sidewalk, is the star dedicated to Marilyn Monroe.
(Just three blocks south is a second McDonald's, located at the southwest corner of Sunset and Highland, across from Hollywood High School (at 6800 Sunset.) Built just a couple of years ago, it features the old "Speedee" mascot on its sign and an old-fashioned "drive-in look.)
Getting there: It's located on the south side of the Hollywood Blvd., between McCadden (on the west) and Las Palmas (on the east), in between the Ripley's museum and the Guinness Book of World Records Museum. From Grauman's Chinese Theatre, just cross the street, then walk two blocks east (just past Highland). From Hollywood & Vine, just go about ten blocks west on Hollywood Boulevard, and the restaurant will be on your left (south) side.
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