This essay by Conan writer Todd Levin about the status obsession in LA is a fun, if slightly depressing, read. Here’s what he has to say about parking on a studio lot:
It’s not just people; even the places in Los Angeles are designed with subtle status-checking devices. The studio “drive on” versus “walk on” is a classic example. Those invited to drive directly onto a studio lot are imbued with higher status, while the rest are forced to park across the street in a (filthy! disgusting!) parking structure, then exit said structure, cross the street (for everyone to see!) and walk through the studio to your meeting (like a fool!). It’s sort of brilliant in its simplicity, and you can be sure if you tell a group of friends that you had a meeting at that studio, one of them will ask, quite naturally, “Drive on?” Your answer may depress you, which just means the system is working.