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A Los Angeles Landmark Like No Other: The Hollywood Sign

Jan 9, 2024 | Los Angeles

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The Hollywood Sign symbolizes dreams, ambition, and the movie magic of the silver screen. This Los Angeles landmark has stood the test of time, captivating the imaginations of many globally. 

Sit back and relax! We’re about to take you on a journey into the world of glitz and glamour that these letters represent. You will find out that this Los Angeles landmark started out as an original influencer, part of a marketing campaign. That’s right! In 1923, the original Hollywood sign was called “Hollywoodland,” promoting a housing development.

Originally, these giant letters stood about 45 feet tall and were only meant to last a year and a half, but like a great marketing campaign, it took on a life of its own and became a star and synonymous with the movie industry. Like the movie industry, the Hollywood sign attracted drama and despair.

In the spring of 1932, a young stage actress named Peg Entwistle moved from New York to Los Angeles to be a movie star, and after the studio didn’t renew her option on a part, she was promised a role in a murder mystery film. She climbed the ladder to the H and jumped off. Ironically, she had been mailed a letter right before her suicide, offering her the lead role in a play about a woman who commits suicide, adding to the mysticism of this Los Angeles landmark.

It has been said that her ghost haunts the Hollywood sign; some have even admitted to seeing the apparition of the now-deceased young actress.

In 1949, the “Land” part of the original Hollywoodland sign was removed to reflect the district, not the housing development.

Maintaining the Hollywood Sign is no small feat. The Hollywood Sign Trust was set up in 1992 and ensures that this Los Angeles landmark remains a symbol of hope, inspiration, and history. Thanks to their efforts, the Hollywood sign continues to shine bright above the city it represents.

To this day, the Hollywood Sign continues to feed the dreams of those who try their luck at creating movie magic.