Winner of seven Golden Globes, five BAFTAs and more than 75 other accolades, romantic musical La La Land is tipped to sweep the board at the 89th Academy Awards this weekend, with a record-equalling 14 nominations.
Damien Chazelle’s masterpiece is up for best picture, director, actress, actor, original score and cinematography, to name but six, tying with 1997 epic Titanic and the 1950 Bette Davis drama All About Eve. To coincide with the award ceremony – and to celebrate Virgin Atlantic’s Oscar season, with every major Oscar-nominated film showing on board this spring – we follow Mia and Sebastian around the City of Angels and reveal the most iconic filming locations in this dreamy love letter to Los Angeles.
Hermosa Beach Pier
Whistling his way down softly-lit Hermosa Beach Pier, a melancholy Ryan Gosling croons the Best Original Song-nominated “City of Stars”. According to reports, authorities are considering replacing the current low level lighting with the full height street lamps used in the movie, in response to overwhelming local demand.
A narrow gauge funicular railway linking Bunker Hill to Downtown, Angels Flight appeared in the starstruck lovers’ romance montage. Turns out they were lucky to get away with it. Currently closed for structural repairs, the permission given for filming should actually never have been granted.
Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park
In the movie, Mia and Sebastian pay a visit to one of Los Angeles’ most eccentric attractions – Watts Towers. Now a listed National Historic Landmark, the 17 interconnected steel sculptures were constructed over 33 years by Italian immigrant tile worker and mason Sabato ‘Simon’ Rodia, who embellished his life’s work with a mix of broken pottery, glass bottles, seashells, colourful ceramics, mirrors and other found objects.
Colorado Street Bridge
As the setting for a romantic sunset stroll, you could do worse than the striking 1913-built concrete arch Colorado Street Bridge, which spans the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena. Alternatively, hold out until 2018 and time your visit to coincide with the biennial Colorado Street Bridge Party; a traffic-free event featuring a vintage car show, live entertainment and family activities.
Grand Central Market
You could easily miss the brief snippet of Mia and Sebastian snacking at Grand Central Market, but you should definitely plan a visit on your next trip to Los Angeles. This seriously trendy foodie destination – which celebrates 100 years of continual service this year – features offshoots of some of LA’s most exciting restaurants, producers and food trucks.
Already the city’s best known movie location since its pivotal role in 1955 melodrama Rebel Without a Cause, Griffith Observatory is set to see its planetarium visitor numbers swell after its latest unforgettable appearance on the big screen.
The Hollywood hotel to end all Hollywood hotels, Chateau Marmont has been the preferred hideaway of the film industry’s glitterati since opening in the 1920s. Follow in the footsteps of Mia and pay a visit when it’s your turn in the spotlight.
Loved La La Land? Watch it again on your next flight, and keep up to date with all the latest inflight entertainment on board Virgin Atlantic.