What is the first thing you think about when you hear the world ‘Hollywood’? For most, it’s the enormous sign placed on the L.A. hills which seems to have been there since forever.
Well, apart from the fact that initially it wasn’t even Hollywood, but ‘Hollywoodland,’ the worldwide famous symbol wasn’t created for the purpose it serves these days at all. So what is the story behind this great sign?
Back in 1923, Harry Chandler, a real estate developer, created what was then known as Hollywoodland. In order to mark his territory, so to speak, he was willing to spend no less than $21,000 for a 30 feet wide and 43 feet tall sign built on the Mount Lee from Los Angeles. The sign would say, of course, ‘Hollywoodland.’ At the time, this was an incredible event, as each letter and material needed to be carried up to the mountain peak by a team of workers – by foot.
Once it was ready, the city could look up and see a gigantic ‘Hollywoodland’ sign shining due to its 4,000 light bulbs blinking continuously.
Although that was not his main intention, Chandler’s eccentric gesture became a landmark and stayed there for decades. Twenty years later, though, the letters were already so deteriorated they were about to fall. Normally, it was nobody’s business, especially that it should’ve been there only for one and a half years.
Ultimately, due to its popularity, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce agreed to restore it with one condition: to remove the ‘-land’ sufix because the word was just too long.
The ‘Hollywood’ sign is still up and, probably, more popular than ever.