The Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. is a staple attraction for tourists. Not so much for its architecture or its Hollywood history but rather for its dozens of character impersonators that use the famous land mark as street performing hub. Costumed characters range from Spongebob, Jack Sparrow and Elvis but they are second ringers to the main draw. Superhero impersonators are the real attraction. Spiderman, Batman, Superman and so on are who people want to stop and take pictures with. Now, these costumed people will play up to tourists in exchange for tips. After all, a chance encounter with Batman is worth at least a buck, am I right?. These people actually make a living doing this. Playing dress up is their life. It’s their career. Being at the Graumans Chinese Theatre hasn’t hurt anyone. In facts it’s been a great source of revenue for the area. It’s been a symbiotic relationship for years. However it seems the powers at be want to take away these costumed entertainers livelihood.
The Los Angelas Police department will start to clear out the area for anyone that does not have a license to dress up. This week they have arrested dozens of Hollywood character impersonators. The reason for this operation, apparently, is because shop owners and some tourist have been complaining that some people are getting a little bit too aggressive in trying to get money and tips.
This really sucks. Ya, I’m sure there must be a few bad apples in the bunch but you don’t go arresting Batman in front of an on looking crowd. It’s very damaging to his image. No to mention how traumatizing it must be for the little kids that don’t understand. On the other hand, this character photo destination has grown exponentially in popularity. It’s one thing to have just a few folks dicking around in tights. Its another to have a whole army of costumed beggars. For safety reasons it should be regulated. Arresting, though, just seems a bit extreme. Can’t they just issue a citation or something?
check out the video below from NBC Los Angelas, which shows Batman being arrested right after he was interview.
Also, you should check out the documetary Confessions of a Superhero which gives you a touching account of what these costumed Hollwood heroes lives are like. You can watch it on hulu
View more news videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video.