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100th Year Anniversary of the Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood sign is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, symbolizing the glamour and excitement of the entertainment industry. Erected in 1923, it has become an iconic symbol of Hollywood, attracting millions of visitors each year. As the sign celebrates its 100th year anniversary, it is worth looking back at the history of this famous landmark.

In the early 1920s, the film industry was just starting to take off in Hollywood. The area was still mostly undeveloped, with a few small towns and ranches scattered around. At that time, a real estate developer named Harry Chandler had bought up a large parcel of land in the Hollywood Hills with the intention of building a luxury housing development.

Chandler knew that he needed a way to attract buyers to his development, and he hit on the idea of building a giant sign on the hillside above Hollywood. The sign would spell out the name of the new development, Hollywoodland, and would be visible from all over the Los Angeles basin.

The Sign Takes Shape

The sign was designed by the artist and illustrator, John Roche, and constructed by the Crescent Sign Company. It was originally intended to be a temporary structure, and was built from wood and sheet metal.

The sign was erected in 1923 and stood 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Each letter was 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide, and was made up of thousands of light bulbs. The sign was lit up at night, and could be seen from miles around.

The sign was an instant success, and became a symbol of the glamour and excitement of Hollywood. It was used in movies and television shows, and was a popular tourist attraction.

The Decline and Restoration

As time went on, the sign started to fall into disrepair. By the 1940s, the sign was in a state of disrepair, and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which had taken over ownership of the sign, decided to remove the last four letters and restore the remaining ones.

In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce contracted the Los Angeles Parks Department to rebuild the sign using concrete and steel. The new sign was 45 feet tall and 350 feet wide, and was supported by a steel frame. The new letters were made of metal and covered with sheet metal.

The new sign was unveiled on November 11, 1978, and quickly became an iconic symbol of Hollywood once again. Over the years, the sign has been modified several times, with changes to the letters, the lighting, and the surrounding area.

Preservation and Security

The sign has been the target of numerous pranks and vandalism over the years. In 1976, the sign was altered to read “Hollyweed” as a prank by a group of college students. In 2017, the sign was altered again to read “Hollyboob,” in support of breast cancer awareness.

To protect the sign, security measures have been put in place, including surveillance cameras and fencing around the perimeter. The sign is also regularly maintained by a team of volunteers who repaint and repair the letters as needed.

As the Hollywood sign celebrates its 100th year anniversary, it remains a beloved landmark and a symbol of the entertainment industry. From its humble beginnings as a real estate marketing tool, to its status as an iconic symbol of Hollywood, the Hollywood sign has come to represent the glamour, excitement, and allure of show business.

As we look back on the history of the Hollywood sign, we are reminded of the importance of preserving our cultural landmarks and symbols. The Hollywood sign is not just a sign, but a piece of history and a part of our collective memory. As we celebrate its 100th year anniversary, we should take a look and pay homage to the characters and personalities who brought us to where we are today.

Mogul Presents: Mogies. Celebrating 100 years of the Hollywood sign.

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