For the first time in decades, the famous “Hollywood” sign (at least part of it) was illuminated over the weekend to celebrate the centennial of the “Mecca of Cinema.” The sign has appeared in a good number of films and cinema highlights.
He has also witnessed a real-life tragedy: British actress Peg Entwistle took her own life by jumping from the top of the letter H in 1932.
The sign, a routine sight for any tourist visiting Los Angeles, initially read “HOLLYWOODLAND,” and was built in 1923 as an advertisement for a luxury real estate development.
During its first decade, it was illuminated with thousands of light bulbs. By the 1940s, the letters seemed a little worn. It is not known whether vandals or wind storms damaged the letter H, before neighbors decided they had had enough and asked the city government to tear it down.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, recognizing that it had a successful brand on its hands, stepped in and offered to repair the sign. But the last four letters had to go: the sign was to represent the entire city, not just a trendy parcel of land, and by 1949, the newly restored sign simply read “HOLLYWOOD.”
On one occasion, the first O was reduced to a “u” and the final O collapsed completely. Then singer Alice Cooper led a campaign to restore the sign to its former glory. And he donated $28,000.
Eight other showbiz personalities, including Gene Autry, Hugh Hefner and Andy Williams, followed suit and each sponsored a lyric.
Thus, Cooper ended up sponsoring the first O, Autry took the second L, to Hefner
He got the Y and Williams was assigned the W.
I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.