“Hollywood” Sign History

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The Los Angeles Hollywood sign is very popular and familiar to most Americans. This sign was built in 1929 with wood and was previously named “HOLLYWOODLAND.” It was changed to “HOLLYWOOD” in 1949. The sign is the worldwide symbol of the entertainment industry, with the famous message that this place is full of magic and imagination. Now, the Hollywood sign is famous all around the world and can be viewed from everywhere as it represents the industry.


The history of this sign is also interesting. The sign was made in 1923 to promote real estate in the Santa Monica Mountains. These letters were 45 feet high and were outlined by 4000 light bulbs. The sign HOLLYWOODLAND glowed in night and look amazing. The land was then given to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in 1949. That was when they decided to discard the word “LAND” and used HOLLYWOOD to promote the movie industry. In 1978, this sign was reconstructed using hard and shiny steel sections.

Hugh Hefner played an important role in rebuilding of the sign. He encouraged the people to support its construction and succeeded in collecting the funds for the maintenance of the Hollywood sign. After that, the chambers of commerce had allocated each of the letter to its greatest benefactors. Here they are as follows:

H               Terrence Donnelly, publisher

O               Giovvani Mazza, producer

L                Les Kelley, originator

L                Gene Autry, singer

Y                Hugh Hefner, founder

W             Andy Williams, singer

O               Warner Bros, records

O               Alice Cooper, singer

D               Thomas Pooley


This is the great history behind the huge “HOLLYWOOD” sign, which has now become the most prestige symbol for Los Angeles.

Time-lapse video of Hollywood Sign refurbishment (video):

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