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Sports & Recreation

Best Theme Park Ride Los Angeles 2013 

Transformers Ride at Universal Studios

Humans manning the robot-turned-vehicle Evac are on a mission to help Autobot transformers stop evil Decepticon robots from destroying Earth. The moment the Transformers ride at Universal Studios begins, you are immersed in fierce action amidst burning skyscrapers and shattering glass — thanks to ultra-high-definition 3-D glasses and 30-foot-tall photorealistic scenes in which you feel certain you are embedded (they're really playing on massive, undetectable screens). You're sitting in a "motion-base" vehicle, as in Disneyland's Star Tours, which means that while you feel as if you're plummeting hundreds of feet, you're actually in a two-story elevator. Heat warms your face as a Megatron missile starts to fry you, but you survive. At the victorious end, huge Optimus Prime looks proudly into your eyes and praises your service. This fantasy is so gorgeously detailed that you wish Evac could slow it all down a notch — there's just too much to see. 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, 91608. (800) 864-8377, universalstudioshollywood.com. —Jill Stewart

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Slideshows

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    Whether it’s a central location in a feature film or just an establishing shot on a sitcom, Los Angeles has some of the most iconic movie and TV houses in the world.

    Houses such as Nancy’s from A Nightmare on Elm Street in Hollywood or the Cunningham’s house from Happy Days in Hancock Park are instantly recognizable. While directors, location managers and production designers are looking for homes that will best serve the story, inevitably many of these dwellings become celebrated. Perhaps a time machine made out of a DeLorean raced into the driveway. Maybe an extraterrestrial who phoned home was hidden there.

    From the Valley to Venice, from Beverly Hills to Baldwin Hills, the sprawling landscape and vastly different neighborhoods of L.A. make up a “backlot” like no other.

    Special thanks to the Location Managers Guild of America for its assistance.

    See our full story: Recognize This House? Here Are Some Iconic L.A. Houses From Your Favorite Movies and TV Shows

    All photos by Jared Cowan.
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    Future Islands performed their first of two sold out nights at The Fonda Theatre in support of their latest release Singles. Operators opened the show. All photos by Timothy Norris.
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    The 3rd Annual Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival in Chinatown's central plaza brings together top L.A. chefs and restaurants to present their twists on fried chicken, along with desserts and drinks.

Best Of Award Graphics 2013

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