The iconic landmark of Los Angeles, a sign on a hill in the Santa Monica Mountains, has hit its centry mark. It’s “birthday” is Dec. 8.
The Hollywood sign, the most photographed landmark in L.A., turns 100 years old in 2023. Not bad for a real estate promotion that was only supposed to be up for about 18 months. Yet is has endured the test of time and has become more than letters on a hill, but a destination and stamped an indentifaction on the glitz of L.A.
It is also an identfying mark of the city, LA’s version of the Paris’ Eiffel Tower (the most photographed landmark in the world by the way), San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Sydney’s Opera House, and Diamond Head in Waikiki Beach. It, like many of the stars who live and live to be seen in Los Angeles, is a celebrity.
And yes, it all started as a real estate sign. You see, real estate developers S.H. Woodruff and Tracy Shoults were literally screaming for attention for property in Hollwood at a time when people were living mostly downtown and other areas. So they put a sign: HOLLYWOODLAND.
After about 20 years, wind, time and neglet had blown off the “H” and it was OLLYWOODLAND for six years. It was about to be removed but the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce raised $250,000 to replace it with just HOLLYWOOD. The first one to donate was Alice Cooper. Yes, the snake-toting rock star. He donated $27,777 in case you are wondering. That was the price the chamber put on each letter of the sign; Cooper “bought” an O that had rolled down the hillside.
Later Hugh Hefner, actor and cowboy Gene Autrey and goodie two-shoes singer Andy Williams also donated money for letters.
And the rest, they say, is history.
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PubClub.com is one of the original websites on the Internet. It features articles on nightlife, food & drink, events, activities, travel and sports. It has been featured in USA Today, the LA Times and American Way magazine, among other publications. Kevin Wilkerson is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in daily newspapers and with the Associated Press. He has been to pubs and clubs throughout the world and is an authoritative figure on the topics covered by the website.