In 1923, the Crescent Sign Company of Los Angeles were commissioned to create a huge sign. It was to advertise a new housing development, the name of which was Hollywoodland. It was intended to be a temporary structure that would last for about eighteen months – just enough time for the development to be promoted.
Today, and now reduced to simply Hollywood, the sign is a cultural icon – there can’t be many people who don’t recognise it as a symbol of the Golen Age of Hollywood and the movie studios.
In 1949 the local authorities took over the ownership (and maintenance duties) of the sign and took away the final syllable so that the sign would genuinely be a tribute to the booming movie industry.
By the nineteen-seventies, however, the sign was in poor condition and was extensively restored.
The sign has a chequered history – being known for the death of actress Peg Entwistle who fell from the H when she committed suicide using the famous sign in 1932. In the early 1940s a driver who had consumed more alcohol than was good for him crashed his car down the cliff, destroying the H and over the years there have been many attempts – some successful – to climb and / or deface the sign.
This has led to the area now being inaccessible and being protected by security cameras and motion sensors. There are some excellent viewing points from which you can see the sign – in fact, it’s hard to miss! But a guided tour is a good idea as you’ll learn more about the sign’s history.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.