Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times
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Wizarding World of Harry Potter to open at Universal Studios on April 7

Harry Potter fans won't have to wait much longer for their Hogwarts letter. Universal Studios Hollywood said Tuesday that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open April 7. The highly anticipated addition to the theme park will feature Hogwarts Castle and the wizard village of Hogsmeade, along...

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  • Big plans, and concerns, surround L.A. River's revitalization

    Big plans, and concerns, surround L.A. River's revitalization

    City engineers, public works officials and developers stood on a hilltop just north of downtown on a recent weekday and gazed at a low-lying railroad yard dotted with weeds on the far side of the Los Angeles River channel. To the uninitiated, it was a mildly depressing vista of concrete, unwanted...

  • Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best

    Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best

    The latest wave of sandwich shops (Hero Shop, Superba Food + Bread, Trencher) and modern Vietnamese cafes (East Borough, Phorage) in Los Angeles have generated tantalizing new spins on banh mi, the beloved Vietnamese sandwich that is the culinary result of French colonialism in Southeast Asia. ...

  • Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu

    Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu

    Monosodium glutamate: Love it or hate it? Some people are convinced it’s toxic, though there isn't much science behind that claim. Others compare it with table salt. Regardless of which camp you fall into, it’s no secret that MSG is used heavily in restaurants – especially in traditional Chinese...

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  • Hollywood Hills residents angered by plan to close 101 offramp

    Hollywood Hills residents angered by plan to close 101 offramp

    A plan to permanently close a major offramp from the Hollywood Freeway to make way for an expansion of Universal Studios is fueling outrage from residents who say it will cut off their community. The southbound Barham Boulevard exit ramp near Universal City will be shut down — probably in the coming...

  • Universal Studios Hollywood to investigate Horror Nights incident

    Universal Studios Hollywood to investigate Horror Nights incident

    Universal Studios Hollywood said Thursday that it will look into complaints made by two teenage girls who said they were insulted in front of a crowd at the park's popular Halloween Horror Nights. The girls, who have hired discrimination attorney Gloria Allred, said they were called "sluts" and...

  • To sell 'Dracula Untold,' Universal asks you to add bats to your video

    To sell 'Dracula Untold,' Universal asks you to add bats to your video

    Bats. Bats everywhere.As creepy as it may sound, Universal Pictures is hoping that giving people the ability to add virtual bats to their cellphone videos will get them talking about the new film “Dracula Untold.”Social-media followers of the film, which arrives in theaters Oct. 10, will be prompted...

  • 101 Freeway near Universal City reopens after police activity

    101 Freeway near Universal City reopens after police activity

    The 101 Freeway was closed for more than two hours in both directions Tuesday evening near Universal City after a suspicious object was spotted after a traffic accident, according to authorities. The northbound lanes reopened about 8:40 p.m. and southbound lanes reopened about 9:10 p.m., according...

  • L.A. Democrats optimistic as early results roll in

    L.A. Democrats optimistic as early results roll in

    State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) and three campaign consultants stood huddled around a laptop in a hotel ballroom in Universal City, hitting refresh.When the first batch of results in Tuesday's primary election were reported, Padilla smiled. With 10% of precincts reporting, he was in second...

  • Big plans, and concerns, surround L.A. River's revitalization

    Big plans, and concerns, surround L.A. River's revitalization

    City engineers, public works officials and developers stood on a hilltop just north of downtown on a recent weekday and gazed at a low-lying railroad yard dotted with weeds on the far side of the Los Angeles River channel. To the uninitiated, it was a mildly depressing vista of concrete, unwanted...

  • Gunfire at Universal CityWalk sends visitors running for cover
    Gunfire at Universal CityWalk sends visitors running for cover

    It was about 1:15 a.m. Monday when gunshots rang out outside a packed nightclub at Universal CityWalk.

    Authorities say a gunman opened fire into a crowd after getting into a fight with patrons. Los Angeles police arrived and fatally shot the man as spectators looked on.

    Cellphone videos of the...

  • One dead after officer-involved shooting at Universal CityWalk
    One dead after officer-involved shooting at Universal CityWalk

    An officer-involved shooting outside a nightclub at Universal CityWalk early Monday left one person dead and two others injured, authorities said.

    No officers were hurt during the shooting, which occurred about 1:15 a.m. outside the Infusion Lounge as police responded to a disturbance call, said...

  • Matthew Poyer keeps crowds moving at Universal CityWalk
    Matthew Poyer keeps crowds moving at Universal CityWalk

    The gig: Matthew Poyer, 52, vice president of operations at Universal CityWalk, oversees what Universal Studios calls the nation's first "outdoor urban entertainment center." It's a quarter-mile-long outdoor mall with 63 tenants. About 2,000 people work there.

    When it opened in 1993, it predated...

  • No charges planned in party bus death

    Prosecutors have declined to file felony manslaughter charges against the owner of a party bus after a man fell off the bus and died last year, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Thursday.

    The California Highway Patrol had recommended that murder charges be filed in the death...

  • D.A. won't charge party bus owner for fatal freeway fall

    The owner of a party bus will not face felony manslaughter charges stemming from the death of a man who fell off the bus and died last year, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Thursday.

    The California Highway Patrol had recommended that murder charges be filed in  the death...

  • 'Despicable Me' ride adds minion mayhem to Universal Studios Hollywood
    'Despicable Me' ride adds minion mayhem to Universal Studios Hollywood

    The new Despicable Me Minion Mayhem motion simulator attraction coming to Universal Studios Hollywood puts riders through a relentless and chaotic minion training course full of slapstick humor.

    PHOTOS: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios HollywoodSet to open in April, the 3-D attraction...

  • Brothers tried to save man who died in fall from party bus
    Brothers tried to save man who died in fall from party bus

    Two brothers tried to hold onto a 24-year-old man as he fell through the door of a party bus on the 101 Freeway last year before losing their grip and watching him fall to his death, a CHP report says.

    More than two dozen passengers were aboard the white, 2001 Ford F-550 last September to celebrate...

  • 'The Kitchen Sink' is among movies filming around L.A.
    'The Kitchen Sink' is among movies filming around L.A.

    The movie about teens who face an army of aliens with help from vampires and zombies is among the few projects to receive a 20% film tax credit from California.

  • 11 stuck on Universal Studios' Transformers ride
    11 stuck on Universal Studios' Transformers ride

    A total of 11 people were stuck Monday morning in a car on the Universal Studios' Transformers ride, but the remaining few were being helped to an exit, said Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.

    The fire department received a call about the incident at 9:10 a.m. Monday, said spokeswoman...

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