The Hollywood Sign is one of the most recognized sings in the whole world and has come to represent the Los Angeles lifestyle as a cultural icon. While nearly everyone knows of the Hollywood Sign, there are probably a few things that you didn’t know about it. Here are some fun facts about the Hollywood Sign that you haven’t heard before.
The first thing you probably don’t know about the Hollywood Sign is when it was built. This 45 foot tall sign was first put up in 1923 as an advertisement for a new housing development that was planned to take place in the near future. The beautiful homes that were to be built would have been located in the Hollywood Hills above Chinatown. The sign is now 90 years old and will soon be celebrating its centennial year. Another thing you probably didn’t know is that originally, the sign didn’t simply say “Hollywood”. Instead, it spelled out “Hollywoodland” as this was to be the name of the housing development complex. The land was originally advertised as having a “superb environment without excessive cost on the Hollywood side of the hills”.
Soon, the housing development project was cancelled and while there were no more plans to build homes in the area, the sign was left up. Over the years, the sign began to deteriorate, especially because it was originally made from wood and sheet metal. During the 1940s the “H” was completely destroyed and by 1949 there were plans to have the sign completely removed. Instead, due to vocal residents that came to love the sign, in 1949 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided to renovate the sign with the stipulation that the new sign would simply read “Hollywood” in order to better reflect the area.
Some fun movie trivia is that while the sign has made appearances in a number of movies, it has also been destroyed in a few as well. in Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) a zombie apocalypse leaves it in ruins; in The Day After Tomorrow (2004), a tornado comes and leaves it completely flattened; in Mighty Joe Young (1998) a gorilla breaks off an ‘O’ from the sign; in Escape from L.A. (1996) it nearly catches fire, and in Superman (1978), it bends during an earthquake.
Don’t forget to visit the Hollywood Sign during your trip to Los Angeles!