Traffic has been perpetually tied up around London’s Abbey Road Studios for 50 years now as fans flock to the street outside to recreate the Beatles’ photographic stroll. To celebrate five decades of that happy UK logjam — and also 50 years of “Abbey Road,” the album — the city of Los Angeles will close down Vine St. at Hollywood Blvd. on Sept. 26 to recreate that other famous intersection.
That and other ceremonial festivities will take place adjacent to Hollywood’s famed Capitol Records tower the day before the release of “Abbey Road: Anniversary Edition,” a 50th anniversary box set including a newly remixed version of the album and previously unreleased outtakes from the 1969 sessions.
No, the Hollywood & Vine crossing will not be permanently repainted in a zebra pattern for the celebration. A Beatles/Universal spokesperson tells Variety what, exactly, the photo op will entail: “The crosswalk will be recreated with a non-slip heavy vinyl recreation of Abbey Road’s zebra crossing laid down over the existing Vine St. crosswalk, with an 8-foot tall double-sided backdrop of 4 panels (two per side) showing the ‘Abbey Road’ cover art photo without the Beatles in the image. There will be four Abbey Road zebra crossing + backdrop areas (two areas per side) for fans to take photos and videos.”
And then, after being closed for the festivities from 1-3:30 that afternoon, Vine St. will reopen to Hollywood’s usual too-many-new-hotels-and-condos traffic.
Sir Patrick Stewart will provide the celebrity presence at the occasion, joined by L.A. city councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and Board of Public Works President Kevin James. Other attractions beyond the photo op will include a Beatles pop-up shop curated by Amoeba Music, food trucks, “Abbey Road” cupcakes and an unspecified “free, exclusive, commemorative takeaway item,” while supplies last.
The temporary crosswalk unveiling and a dedication for a permanent new City of Los Angeles sign at the Capitol tower will take place from 1-1:15, with the rest of the festivities going on till 3:30. The celebration takes place on the actual 50th anniversary date for the release of “Abbey Road”; the new archival deluxe and non-deluxe reissues are off by just a day.