For those of you that haven’t heard of La La Land, how on earth have you missed it? It’s the Hollywood blockbuster that harps back to the golden age of musicals, pitching a perfect balance between old-school movie magic and modern-day LA life. It’s Mia and Seb’s story of unavoidable knock-backs and self-determination set in some of the quirkiest Hollywood venues. Director Damien Chazelle and his production team worked hard to make sure that the film had a truly unique aesthetic; the story, the colours, the characters, the score, the songs; it’s what can only be described as a little bit dreamy. Sigh! If like me, you left the cinema wanting to tap dance your way to the nearest jazz club, via a vintage cinema, whilst singing your heart out and twirling under the stars, then these North West venue alternatives may quench your Hollywood thirst a little.
While the North West of England does not always have the sunshine of Los Angeles, here’s how #eventprofs could bring a little La La Land sparkle to your next event with some unique venues.
1. Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles vs. Jodrell Bank Observatory, Macclesfield.
In the film, Seb and Mia pay homage to the Hollywood classic ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ with a trip to the Griffith Observatory, Los Angles. The North West of England’s version may not quite have the glamour of the LA venue, but if its stargazing you’re after, the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Macclesfield, Cheshire is the place to go.
Jodrell Bank is part of the Centre of Astrophysics at the University of Manchester and home to the Lovell Telescope, the world’s third-largest steerable radio telescope. This makes it a truly unique venue for your event.
There are two different spaces available to hire for private events, The Star Pavilion and the Jodrell Bank Café. Private Hire of spaces includes access to all exhibitions, grounds and gardens for delegates whilst on site and availability depends on the calendar of educational events that the Centre already has pre-planned.
To find out more about venue hire, go here: http://www.jodrellbank.net/visit/whats-here/venue-hire/
Follow Jodrell Bank Observatory on Twitter @jodrellbank
2. Warner Bros Studio Lot Coffee Shop, Burbank vs. ProperTea, Manchester
La La Land does nothing to dispel the myth that every coffee shop, restaurant and bar is staffed by a wannabe creative on the edge of their big break. While the coffee shop that Mia worked in on the Warner Brothers Studio Lot was in fact fictional, Manchester is brimming with creative outlets.
Taking a step away from the notoriously trendy Northern Quarter (which is overflowing with ‘creatives’), ProperTea at Manchester Cathedral is equally cool. Whether you just want to pop in for a Tea (We are talking about t’up North you know!) while you’re working on your latest screen play or if you would prefer to hire the whole venue, the space is bright, airy and welcoming.
Full venue hire can cater for up 50 delegates and catering services can be entirely flexible depending on each unique event.
To find out more about ProperTea, go here: http://properteadeveloper.com/venue-hire/
Follow ProperTea on Twitter @ProperTeaRooms
3. Warner Brothers Studios, Burbank vs. Granada Studios, Manchester
Mia’s dreams of being a modern-day Hollywood starlet are heightened as her day job sees her located on the well-known Warner Brothers Studio lot. Home to cinema classics like Casablanca and The Music Man, and more modern hits such as Friends and Ellen the studios have more than earned their iconic status.
While you may not be able to get access to a working studio set for your latest event, you can hire out Manchester’s equally iconic Old Granada Studios. Since the relocation of ITV to MediaCity, Salford, the Old Granada is now a new cultural destination in the City. The previous home to British TV classics like Coronation Street now has a whole host of spaces available to hire out for a huge array of events. It’s already played host to food and drink markets, indoor music festivals and club nights.
To find out more about Old Granada Studios, go here: http://oldgranadastudios.com/
Follow Old Granada Studios on Twitter @OldGranadaMCR
The Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach is a long-standing jazz venue, and it is where Seb takes Mia on their first date, in an attempt to convert her hate for jazz. If you crave the ‘small neighbourhood joint’ vibe after seeing La La Land, then Matt & Phreds in Manchester’s effortlessly cool Northern Quarter should be high on your list.
It is most notably known for showcasing some of the best musicians in both local and international jazz, with it more recently spreading its wings into different genres. You can now expect to see an eclectic mixture of Jazz, Swing, Folk, Gypsy, Electro, Salsa and Ska on the ‘What’s On’ calendar.
They recommend that booking is essential at weekends to guarantee a table.
To find out more, please go here: http://www.mattandphreds.com/content/bookings
Follow Matt & Phreds on Twitter here @MattandPhreds
5. Rialto Theatre, South Pasadena vs. Hebden Bridge Picture House, Hedben Bridge
The Rialto Theatre scene is another reference to classic Hollywood; the old-school movie theatre, the old-school screening of Rebel Without a Cause, the old-school tradition of ‘dressing up’ for a first date. Sadly, the Rialto Theatre, which was built in 1925 and is on the US National Register of Historic Places, closed in 2007, and now only opens for special occasions. Independent film and cinemas themselves are undergoing somewhat of a resurgence in the UK, and a perfect example of this is the Hedben Bridge Picture House.
This independent cinema with daily screenings is undergoing continued restoration to take it back to its prime. The picture house can seat up 510 delegates across both the stalls and balcony, and can play host to live events, private screenings or conferences on private hire.
To find out more details on venue hire, click here: http://www.hebdenbridgepicturehouse.co.uk/venue-hire/
Follow Hebden Bridge Picture House on Twitter @hbpicturehouse
(Please note all images are stills from the film La La Land or have been taken direct from the venue websites. Events Northern have not used any of the venues listed in a professional capacity and therefore cannot comment on the products and services provided by them.)