"Grand Theft Auto V: Los Santos," released Sept. 17, is the latest in Rockstar Games' hugely popular franchise, which has previously sold more than 125 million units. Set in a parallel-world Los Angeles called Los Santos, the open-world narrative allows players to explore the city's sights as a contorted fun-house mirror. For a mix of satirical and copyright-related reasons, many names have been changed.
Franklin, one of the primary player-controlled characters, lives in Vespucci Beach, based on Venice Beach.
The Hollywood Sign becomes Vinewood. Below it, locals will spot the peak-towered, 13-story First National Bank building, built in 1928 by the same architecture firm that designed Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
The Hollywood Bowl is geographically transported much closer to downtown in the geography of Los Santos.
The famously pink-and-green Beverly Hills Hotel retains its iconic Mediterranean Revival architecture but not its name along the facade.
Design for Living
This ornate apartment building is a close riff on L.A.'s venerable El Royale in Hancock Park -- right down to the shared oversized, illuminated rooftop signs. Its architect, William Douglas Lee, also designed the Chateau Marmont hotel.
City To The Sea
Grand Theft Auto's noirish rendition of the Santa Monica Pier, in real-life at least a half-hour drive from downtown L.A., is practically a stroll away on the Los Santos map.
Go East, Young Man
Grauman's Chinese Theatre along Hollywood Blvd. (recently under new management and officially known as the TCL Chinese Theatre) has been re-imagined with the decidedly less-than-sensitive stand-in moniker The Oriental.
City of Dreams
In an interview on Sept. 17 with the U.K. Guardian, the game's co-designer Dan Houser mused about L.A.: "It's a fascinating city -- it's kind of obsessed with itself."
Domestic box office is down 20 percent in the U.S. as "Sex Tape" goes limp and, for the first time since 2001, no film crosses $300 million. Laments one studio executive, “I wish I worked at Netflix.” Read More