It's Academy Awards time, when the spotlight on Hollywood Boulevard shines brightest. But while the stars of the movie industry and their fans are flocking to the Hollywood & Highland Center, locals are dealing with inconveniences that can cause a headache or two.
On Friday, at the tourists were stopping to take pictures while stores in the were preparing to lose a day of business on Sunday, when all attention will turn toward the 84th annual awards ceremony.
Micheal Brother, manager of , a seasonal shop full of holiday decorations, said he noticed a big change a couple of days ago. That's when most of the parking slots were filled on the normally empty sixth level of Hollywood & Highland’s parking garage.
“The parking is a bit more difficult,” Brother said. “Today, it was hard to find a space even on P6.”
Dawn Burns, a sales associate at the store, didn't have parking issues because she walked to work, but she was anticipating one of the key last-minute precautions.
Burns will be at the store late Saturday night while police with bomb-sniffing dogs search every inch of the place. Burns, who has worked at Hollywood & Highland for more than two years, says it's a standard practice for all the stores on Oscars weekend.
A couple of blocks from the shopping and entertainment center, residents in the hillside neighborhood of Hollywood Heights voiced concerns mixed with generally good-natured resignation.
Victoria Hochberg, who lives in the neighborhood, no longer hosts Oscars parties because of the lack of available street parking. However, she said people who live in the area understand that periodic disruptions come with the territory.
“It’s a little inconvenient for two days, but so is the [Hollywood] Bowl for five months,” said Hochberg, a board member of the Hollywood Heights Association. “We’re just lucky to live here. I don’t mind the Oscars being here.”
Another HHA board member, Fredrica Cooper, has lived in Hollywood Heights since the 1970s and is much-beloved by fellow residents for the email updates she sends out on neighborhood happenings. Cooper said having the Oscars in the neighborhood is good for local businesses and tourism, but it also comes with headaches—such as cars cutting through the neighborhood and the incessant drone of media helicopters that begins hours before the first limousine pulls up to the red carpet and continues until the show begins.
“I do believe it affects everyone’s daily routine,” Cooper said. “The helicopters for me may be the worst of it because the noise is just terrible.”
Cooper pointed out that there are safety issues, too, especially for her and others who like to walk in the neighborhood.
“We need more police patrols to keep people from speeding and running stop signs, especially during the awards,” she said.
Joyce Dyrector, a resident of nearby Whitley Heights, said she has a plan for dealing with the congestion and controlled chaos around Hollywood Boulevard on Sunday. She's not leaving home.
The Academy Awards are scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.