New York

Street Closed As Oscar Preps Begins

Hollywood street block will be closed until the Academy Awards ceremony next weekend.

The countdown to the Oscars has begun and crews are busy transforming Hollywood Blvd into what will become the red carpet arrival area for the biggest stars.

One block of Hollywood Boulevard has been shut down between Highland Avenue and Orange Drive.

"I really like all the spectacle, feels like fun and really Hollywood," said Rachel Katz, a tourist visiting from New York.

Traffic officers will be directing pedestrians and cars during the closures.

"It's pretty amazing. This is why we're here. We wanted to be here when the Academy Awards are on," said Leslie Abbott, visiting from Australia.

It may be exciting for the tourists, but what about for those who live and work in the area?

"Well it's bad," said Perry Mann, who dresses like "Captain America" on the busy tourist stretch each day. "It makes it slow. People have to, like, tunnel through the crowd and it really hurts us a lot but the Academy Awards are a great thing so I understand."

Most local residents said it was part of living in the area.

"Because this is Hollywood Boulevard, you have to expect that," said resident Greg Twiford.

With the Monday holiday for most people, traffic was light and flowing smoothly near the closure. The sidewalks remain open, but the Oscar prep work is covering up some of the stars on the Walk of Fame.

"If they want Brittany Spears they can't see their star because the bleachers are there," said greeter Gregg Donovan.

That’s likely to change during the rest of the work week. That block will remain closed through the awards.

But none of that seems to bother folks who were in Hollywood here on vacation, especially those from back east.

"We're loving it because it's 14 below there right now," Jenny Kunec said about her Michigan home.

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