Do you like movies? How about television shows? Of course, you do! And that’s why you should be saying, “Hooray for Hollywood!” Many of the movies and television shows you watch are products of that famous town in Southern California known as Hollywood.
Hollywood is an area located to the west and northwest of downtown Los Angeles, California. Throughout history, Hollywood has been the home of movie stars and movie studios. When you think of the center of the American entertainment industry, you think of Hollywood.
Today, the entertainment industry has spread to other areas of Southern California and even other areas of the country, including New York City. However, Hollywood still remains an important part of the industry as the home of movie studios and entertainment-related industries.
The name “Hollywood” was the idea of H. J. Whitley, who bought a 500-acre ranch in the area. Whitley’s idea was to use the ranch land as the starting point of a grand city. Whitley eventually earned the nickname of the “Father of Hollywood.”
Although American filmmaking did not start in Hollywood, it did not take long for Hollywood to become the center of the industry. By 1920, Hollywood was world-famous as the heart of the film industry in the United States. In the following decades, television studios and music recording studios would also begin to call Hollywood home.
One of the most famous landmarks in Hollywood is the famous Hollywood Sign. Located on the south side of Mount Lee in Griffith Park just north of Mulholland Highway, the Hollywood Sign spells out “HOLLYWOOD” in letters that stand 45 feet tall and stretch over 350 feet wide.
The rough and steep terrain in the area gives the sign its unique wavy appearance. Originally, the sign spelled out “HOLLYWOODLAND,” as it was built in 1923 for the purpose of advertising a new housing development with that name.
The original sign was covered with over 4,000 light bulbs and never intended to last for more than a year or two. However, with the popularity of Hollywood as the center of the movie industry, the sign became associated strongly with Hollywood and was never removed.
Over time, the sign sustained a lot of damage and deteriorated badly. In 1949, the City of Los Angeles Parks Department took over the responsibility of repairing and rebuilding the sign. “LAND” was removed from the sign, as were the light bulbs.
In 1978, the entire sign was replaced with letters made of steel. Nine donors each gave over $27,000 to fund the $250,000 restoration project. The new version of the sign was dedicated on November 14, 1978 — the 75th anniversary of Hollywood.