It’s recognised throughout the world as an American cultural icon that defines the movie industry. The Hollywood sign, is located on Mount Lee, high up along the Hollywood Hills which form part of the Santa Monica mountain range. It was erected in 1923 with each letter standing an impressive 45ft high. It’s positioning was deliberately designed to capture the attention of those living lower down in Los Angeles itself.
But why would anyone care about the term “Hollywood” on a hill?
What many people don’t know is that back then, the sign actually read “Hollywoodland”. It was created to actually promote an expansive new housing development within the hills themselves, prime real estate with stunning views. Once all the plots of land were sold, the idea was that the sign be taken down several months later.
But such was its visibility in movies (and therefore its association with celebrity) that 26 years later the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and City of Los Angeles Parks Department decided to remove the term “LAND” entirely but keep “HOLLYWOOD”. It was move designed to reflect the changing nature of the area itself – people had long forgotten about the housing development. Its bold white letters were seen to encapsulate the lavish lifestyle of its locals, whilst serving as an inspirational symbol to those trying to make it big.
That still holds true to this very day.