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Performers say they offer a valuable service in an area with little more than stores, souvenirs and cheap eateries.

“It’s like a souvenir for the people,” Jordi Bellon, a 26-year-old from Spain, said, peering through his black Zorro mask as he wielded a rose and a plastic sword outside Grauman’s.

Yvonne Haug, 53, a visitor from Ontario, Canada, agreed.

“It’s kind of neat, having Zorro standing next to you,” she said. “This is what we came to see.”

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AP writer Thomas Watkins in Los Angeles contributed to this report.