Left Turns in LA: The TCM Movie Locations Bus Tour

We’re officially a month away from the 20th anniversary of Turner Classic Movies, and to celebrate, the beloved television station has partnered with StarLine to launch a month of bus tours for classic movie fans in Los Angeles. The free, 3-hour ride chauffeurs visitors to a variety of historical film and filmmaking locations around Los Angeles, and runs through the TCM Film Festival in April. The tour celebrates a love of film from nearly every angle, highlighting on-location filming locations, studios, and historical and modern movie theaters, tracing its history from the earliest silent films to the latest CGI blockbusters.

Cover Girl (1944)

After seeing Patricia Ward Kelly’s show, “Gene Kelly: A Legacy,” I was dismayed to find that there were still a handful of performances that his widow considered to be among his best that I had still not yet seen. For (my) reference, those were: The Three Musketeers, Thousands Cheer, Words and Music, Cover Girl, Living in a Big Way, and Brigadoon. I covered Words and Music a few weeks back—it happily doubled as a That’s Entertainment entry, which is always a plus for me—but today I decided to set my sights on a film containing Kelly working alongside one of my favorite classic actresses, Rita Hayworth.

Gene and Rita’s Lasting Friendship

While searching for Cover Girl images, I found this adorable photo of Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth, circa 1979-ish. In trying to find out more about it, I came across an even more adorable story about their friendship around this time.

The Los Angeles Theatre

Built in 1930, the Los Angeles Theatre was the last of the great, classic movie palaces constructed in LA’s Broadway theater district, which, at the time, boasted the highest concentration of movie theaters in the world. The area’s expansive growth reflected the public’s near insatiable demand for cinema throughout the early part of the 20th century, and afforded theatrical prominence to downtown LA before theaters like the Chinese, the Egyptian, and the Pantages began to shift moviegoing focus to Hollywood. In 1931, there were a dozen major movie theaters here within a six-block radius, with a combined seating capacity of 15,000.