LA is a city of secrets, said a million or so people over the last several decades. You, too? Yeah, we all know it.
Because it's a known fact that we spend a lot of time in our vehicles, zipping by buildings that may, and often do, hold film sets and elaborate costumes and strange delights, all without our knowing it.
And if you've driven by LAX, the Beverly Hilton, or Julien's Auctions in recent days, you just might have felt the magical pull of Middle Earth, without getting exactly why. The structures look the same; what could possibly be within?
Plenty of Hobbit-y high jinks, all here in town in advance of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," which opens on Friday, Dec. 13.
But "high jinks" almost seems to light a term for a Boeing 777-300, the world's largest pop-up book, and a full-scale auction of film props.
LAX: The much-anticipated Smaug plane from Air New Zealand made its way to Los Angeles from the Southern Hemisphere in time for the Dec. 2 premiere. We call it the Smaug plane, probably like everyone will, because, yep, there's the elusive, seen-only-by-his-eyeball-thus-far dragon, smack on the plane's side. We just hope no real dragons passed the plane in flight, because that was probably confusing for them.
Beverly Hilton: The nice people of New Zealand tourism trucked in a lot of backdrops and sets and such, including what was billed as the "world's largest pop-up book," into the landmark hotel at the beginning of the week. The book was open to invite-only, but the hotel's site has some fun pictures up. The book goes bye-bye at the end of this week, but we wish it could all stay up for the Golden Globes. Wait. Can they hand out the Globes from *inside* the giant pop-up book? Please make this happen, Hollywood overseers.
Julien's Auctions: Sting -- that's Frodo's oh-so-powerful sword, of course -- and numerous other props and items from "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy went up for auction in Beverly Hills on Thursday, Dec. 5. Oh, and are there prosthetic Hobbit feet? You bet. You can scroll through all, and dream about your own enchanted collection, or just enjoy the photos, at the Julien's site.