Located on La Brea and 1st Street in Los Angeles, among the art galleries, trendy boutiques and restaurants of the La Brea shopping district, is the King of Collectable Furniture, operated by Nick Metropolis (his real name) for over 25 years. The huge indoor / outdoor store is home to wild and crazy collection of movie memorabilia and props, unusual toys, trinkets, curios, mannequins, odd furniture and all sorts of Hollywood advertising and ephemera. The store attracts tourists, celebrities and movie industry professionals in search of props. Entering the the store is a bit like stumbling into a 21st century archeological dig. During the two days I wandered around the store, I found myself drawn to the eerie variety of 'heads' I encountered, particularly the huge number and diversity of mannequin heads.
There is an almost surreal quality to the array of mannequin heads that Nick has assembled - the piercing eyes and diversity of skin tones leave one feeling as though you have entered another dimension, inhabited by the remains of would-be Hollywood startlets.
The heads in the store were not limited to mannequins either - a sign for a hair salon, an Elvis clock, a horse's head and a couple of abstract heads all added to the 'head' theme of this strange visit for me.
I don't think there can be anything more 'Hollywood' than a 'Marilyn Monroe Blvd' street sign; and of course, the 'King' himself, Nick Metropolis.