The Hollywood Walk of Fame is more than just a place where tourists for some reason think it’s ok to lie on the dirty sidewalk for a photo op; it’s also a collection of monuments to some of Los Angeles and Hollywood’s greatest stars: Vin Scully, Art Laboe, Nicholas Cage. Spanning 15 blocks along Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks along Vine Street, the Walk of Fame is highly visible but maybe still fairly mysterious. Los Angeles magazine pulls the curtain back, offering a glimpse into the making of a Walk of Fame star.
—Applicants for a star on the Walk of Fame have to be approved by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, pay a $30,000 “sponsorship fee,” and promise to attend the ceremony for the big reveal before they’re chosen to receive a star.
—Anyone can nominate a person for a star on the Walk of Fame, though if a fan nominates someone, the celebrity has to agree to the nomination, says the LA Times.
—Placement on the Walk of Fame is up to one member of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, says LA magazine. Her name is Ana Martinez (though she’s been nicknamed “Stargirl”) and she takes the job of star placement very seriously. “For instance, she put the star for Farrah Fawcett—known for her hair—by a salon,” and she also tries to keep any family members on the Walk close together.
—The star might go into a spot where there’s a preexisting blank star, but if there isn’t already a blank star, “they’ll jackhammer the entire three-by-three-foot square” and start fresh on the spot.
—On the actual marker, the pink terrazzo star is the first thing to be made. It’s poured into its shape and left to set overnight.
—The brass letters on the star are next. They go on the center of the star, along with the icon that denotes the specialty of the person receiving the star, whether it’s a film camera, a record, a radio microphone, the comedy and tragedy masks, or a TV set.
—The Walk of Fame started in 1960, and has expanded to include over 2,500 stars. There are still blank spaces, to allow room for the Walk to grow.