Los Feliz

Los Feliz is a district of the City of Los Angeles, California, named for its land grantee José Vicente Feliz.

It lies north of East Hollywood and just south of the Santa Monica Mountains, adjacent to the neighborhoods of Hollywood and Silver Lake. Home to the southern face of Griffith Park, the district includes the Griffith Observatory and the Greek Theatre. Los Feliz is bordered by Hollywood Boulevard to the south, Hyperion Avenue to the southeast, Griffith Park to the north, the Los Angeles River to the east, and Western Avenue to the west. It is traversed by Los Feliz Boulevard.

Los Feliz was home to many early movie studios, including the first Disney studio (now a Gelson’s supermarket) and D. W. Griffith’s studio. On Sunset Boulevard was Monogram Pictures (currently KCET public television), where early Charlie Chan movies were filmed, as well as “Hurricane” starring Dorothy Lamour and the camp classic “Johnny Guitar”. (The western street from that movie remained until the mid 1980s when KCET razed the set to make way for a much-needed parking structure–but they threw a huge studio-wide party there on its final days.) The neighborhood has historically been home to movie stars, musicians, and the Hollywood elite. It boasts some of the best known residential architecture in the city, including two homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright: Ennis House and the Hollyhock House, and Richard Neutra’s ovell ouse.

The 6,647-acre Rancho Los Feliz, one of the first land grants in California, was granted to Corporal José Vicente Feliz. An old adobe house built in the 1830s by his heirs still stands on Crystal Springs Drive in Griffith Park, named for Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, who donated over half of the rancho to the city of Los Angeles, which became one of the largest city owned parks in the country. Other sections of the rancho were developed and became the communities of Los Feliz and Silver Lake.

Los Feliz village is home, or in close proximity to, numerous restaurants and bars. They are mostly located on Hillhurst between Los Feliz Boulevard and Prospect Avenue, and on Vermont between Franklin Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard. Some were classic dives in their hey-day, frequented by the likes of Charles Bukowski, Lawrence Tierney, sundry working class drunks, poets, artists, writers and other creative types, but have now primarily been taken over by Los Feliz’s massive influx of hipsters and scenesters.

The Derby, at Hillhurst and Los Feliz, the last remaining location of the historic The Brown Derby chain, was featured in the movie Swingers and remains a popular establishment. The Dresden Room on Vermont, also featured in the film Swingers, has live entertainment by the Marty and Elayne.

There is much to do in Los Feliz, which is bordered by Griffith Park, home to the Los Angeles Zoo, along with a merry-go-round, two 18 hole golf courses, a driving range, baseball field several tennis courts, athletic fields, hiking, and equestrian trails in the mountains away from the residential district. At Traveltown there is a miniature railroad operated by the Los Angeles Live Steamers and a collection of railroad locomotives, passenger cars and streetcars.

At the Greek Theatre, which was built to resemble a Greek amphitheatre, visitors can attend concerts under the stars. The newly renovated Griffith Observatory and planetarium is right up the hill from Los Feliz.