The Thirty Mile Zone, as it pertains to Hollywood is the geographical area within thirty miles of Beverly Boulevard and La Cienega Blvd. according to Wikipedia. The term originated in the 60’s when the studios started doing a lot of location shoots, and the Thirty Mile Zone was an accounting term about per diem rates for cast and crew members for those shoots. TMZ, the television show, used the insider term as the title of its show. The inference is that everything “Hollywood” that happens is within this zone.
Before I moved to Los Angeles, I read something similar in one of the screenwriting books. It basically said that in order to be considered relevant in the movie industry, one must reside somewhere between Malibu on the west, the San Fernando Valley on the north, Burbank on the east, and Culver City in the south. It is the golden triangle of the entertainment industry. If you move to Pomona for instance, because the rent is cheaper, you might as well be in Iowa. The same goes for Orange County – “Orange what?” If you are going to live outside of the thirty mile zone, it better be somewhere cool, like Aspen, Santa Fe, London, or NYC.
In the novel, Palm Avenue, Ashley rents an apartment in the epicenter of the Thirty Mile Zone. Palm Avenue is just a few blocks west of La Cienega, and a bit north of Beverly Boulevard. This is really where all the action is. The movers and shakers of Hollywood eat in the restaurants in this area, work out in the gyms, and party at the nightclubs until closing time. This is why the paparazzi of Hollywood, including people employed by TMZ are constantly hanging out in this area.
Ashley in the book was savvy enough to understand that if she wants success as an actress, she has to live in where the players are. After all, as the story goes, actress Lana Turner Monroe was discovered at a soda fountain at Schwab’s Pharmacy on the corner of Sunset Blvd and Laurel, not too far away. Ashley gets caught up in the glitz and glamour immediately when she lands at job at Kraven, the hot new restaurant and nightclub on the Sunset Strip, where all the Hollywood illuminati wants to be seen.
Ashley realizes as she finishes her first shift at Kraven she is where she belongs: “She said her goodbyes to the doormen and bouncers, walked past the bored paparazzi who were smoking cigarettes on the side of the club. She kept moving up Sunset. A steady stream of traffic was snarled coming up the Strip and she smiled as she looked at the glittering lights up in the hills and she knew that she was in exactly the right place.”
Ashley gets “discovered” too, and she handles it the old fashioned way. The way actors and actresses have been doing since the beginning of Hollywood. You may purchase the ebook version of “Palm Avenue” here for immediate download.