Seeing Stars: Where the Stars Shop

12348 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA / (818) 509-8600

When stars go shopping for children's books, one of their favorite spots is Storyopolis, a charming shop filled with books and art for the kids. Satisfied customers have included singer Bruce Springsteen, director Steven Spielberg, Ellen DeGeneres, and actor/director Danny DeVito.

May of 1997 saw a live reading of childrens' books by actress Jennifer Tilly. Director Tim Burton put in an appearance in October. Recently, "ER" star Anthony Edwards showed up to read "Tangerine Bear." Robin Williams came to introduce filmmaker Faith Hubley. (And you can see even more stars coming and going from The Ivy restaurant, right across the street.) Alyson Hannigan ('Willow' on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") enjoyed a Dr. Suess exhibit there.

(In many ways, the bookstore is reminiscent of Meg Ryan's cozy 'Shop Around the Corner' in her 1998 romantic comedy "You've Got Mail.")

But the bookstore/art gallery is just a showcase for the larger Storyopolis effort, software billionaire Paul Allen's family entertainment company, which is dedicated to preserving the tradition of storytelling in all forms of media. Working with the authors and artists of the most popular storybooks, Storyopolis develops film, television and multimedia programming for children of all ages.

In late 1998, The Starbright Foundation, hosted a book party at Storyopolis to premiere "The Emperor's New Clothes: An All-Star Illustrated Retelling of the Classic Fairy Tale," which included a reading of the story by the celebrity authors, including Robin Williams, Jay Leno, John Lithgow, Nathan Lane, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Jeff Goldblum

In early 1997, they announced a number of production deals with Warner Bros and others which would partner them with Geena Davis, Renny Harlin, Anthony Hopkins, Steven Spielberg, "Simpsons" star Dan Castellaneta, and some of the most famous children's book authors. Storyopolis will produce animated versions of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," "Nicholas Cricket," "The Iguana Brothers," "Red Ranger Came Calling," as well as "Betsy and the Emperor," "Weetzie Bat" and "Witch Baby." They are also developing a live TV show for PBS and an animated television show based on Colin McNaughton's book "Here Come the Aliens"

The Storyopolis store also acts as a gallery dedicated to showcasing original art by storybook illustrators. And they also host a children's craft/story hour every Saturday morning.

Update: Storyopolis recentled moved from its posh Robertson Blvd location (near Beverly Hills), into new digs on Ventura Blvd in the San Fernando Valley. Whether their celebrity clientele will follow them there is yet to be seen.

 Getting there: The store is located on in the San Fernando Valley, on Ventura Blvd, between Rhodes Ave & Laurel Grove Ave., in Studio City, about two miles west of the Hollywood Freeway.

[For more information, you can access their official website at .]

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