Have you been to California’s Hollywood by the Beach?

Have you been to California’s Hollywood by the Beach?
Beachside, Santa Monica Photo Credit: ProDesign Studio/ Shutterstock

The beach town of Santa Monica, its scenic surroundings featured in famous Hollywood movies, urges visitors to explore its history, architecture and art scenes through the digital pathway

Uttara Gangopadhyay
June 09 , 2020
11 Min Read

You may not be able to run ‘clear to the ocean’ like Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks from the eponymous movie) given the current circumstances, but you may be able to enjoy a virtual visit to Santa Monica whose famous pier featured in the movie where Hanks decides to ‘turn around and keep going’. Often called California’s 'Hollywood by the Beach', Santa Monica, with its 3.5 miles of glistening coastline, breathtaking ocean views, historic architecture, and vibrant art and culture, has been the locale for many famous Hollywood movies, such as Rebel Without a Cause, Speed, Ocean’s Eleven, among others.

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A post shared by Santa Monica Conservancy (@smconservancy) on May 4, 2020 at 10:07am PDT

If you haven’t been to this beach town west of downtown Los Angeles, then put it on your real time bucket list and settle for a digital journey now. And if you have been there already, here is your chance to go down the memory lane. Digital brochures – Discover the Neighborhood – published by the Santa Monica Conservancy are available for free downloads.

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A post shared by Getty (@gettymuseum) on May 18, 2020 at 12:15pm PDT


You can also go on art and culture tours. Go for a virtual tour of the Getty Villa, a replica of an Italian villa that houses antiquities from ancient Greece and Rome. The Getty Villa and Getty Center are offering extensive online programmes on their blog, holding podcasts with art researchers, curators holding virtual tours of the Michelangelo exhibition, etc. You may even download Getty Open content to create a custom background in Zoom meetings.

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A post shared by bG Gallery (@bggallery) on Mar 17, 2020 at 4:29pm PDT

Or, go on a 360-degree virtual exploration through BG Gallery’s (one of the galleries in the Bergamot Station art gallery complex and cultural centre) art exhibition titled Love in the Time of Corona, a social distancing art exhibition and fundraiser. Guests may also listen to pre-recorded interviews with the artists as they discuss their works on view. The gallery is also open by appointment via Facetime.

Brush up your knowledge of Western classical music by joining the watch party being organised by Orchestra Santa Monica’s music director Roger Kalia and musicologist Christine Wisch. The musical features range from Beethoven and Mozart to West Side Story and each programme starts with a pre-concert introduction, followed by a video of the featured work with running commentary, interesting insights into the composition, composer, and performance, plus audience comments, and Q&A exchanges.

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A post shared by The Broad Stage (@thebroadstage) on May 18, 2020 at 3:37pm PDT

The Broad Stage has been uploading a series of livestream performances, interviews and archival footage on their website. Browse their catalogue of arts-focused learning guides, video workshops with artists and full show performance videos from past student matinees. 

Said to be the largest artist residency program in southern California, the 18th Street Arts Centre  has introduced [email protected], a virtual platform that allows viewers to participate and experience in artist projects.

Enjoy a virtual cabaret with City Garage Theatre. Known for their original works that explore contemporary ideas and issues in a distinctive, strongly physical, highly visual style, they are now reprising crowd-favourite roles, monologues, songs and performances in a virtual cabaret to raise funds.

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A post shared by Mi's Westside Comedy Theater (@westsidecomedy) on May 30, 2020 at 12:37pm PDT

If you are keen to use this forced to stay at home hours to learn something, learn to act or perfect public speaking with Edgemar Center for the Arts. The center is offering an extensive list of blogs, conducted live over Zoom for both adults and children, including Acting 101, Learn English through Acting and Auditioning for Film and TV On Camera. For non-actors, they are also offering classes in dealing with anxiety, public speaking and improv. You can also learn improv at the Westside Comedy Theater  where industry experts and master comedians from one of the best comedy clubs in LA are holding virtual classes. Paint:Lab  is offering adults sessions on honing their artistic skills through virtual happy hour art classes with live, interactive sessions.

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A post shared by The Music Castle Inc. (@themusiccastleinc) on Mar 22, 2020 at 10:30pm PDT

The Music Castle is offering private music and vocal instruction via webcam to ensure that students have the full attention of a teacher and can progress at a level suited to individual needs. Older students may also enjoy a vocal bootcamp performance workshop to perform for others and receive critiques. Music Castle is offering 50 percent off first online lessons.

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A post shared by Cafe Demitasse (@cafe_demitasse) on May 3, 2020 at 2:20pm PDT

To ensure that you have some sustenance to see you through the online classes, maybe you should first check out the live coffee brewing demos and fun tutorials being offered by Café Demitasse.

And to know which famous movies include Santa Monica’s scenic locale, click on the Santa Monica movies blog.

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