The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, and no visit to the City of Angels is complete without viewing it. Whether you catch a glimpse of the Hollywood Sign at night or during the day, it looms large above the Griffith Park area; a beacon to hopeful stars from all corners of the globe. Upon viewing this inspirational landmark, it's hard not to conjure up images of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and scores of other legendary actors who made a name for themselves in the City of Angels. The Hollywood Sign is a symbol of stardom and of this city.
Los Angeles, and Southern California in general, is renowned for its agreeable climate. As such, real estate developed into one of the city's top industries. Interestingly enough, the famous Hollywood Sign started out as an advertisement ploy for a suburban LA housing development. This development was named Hollywoodland, and the original sign read as such. In 1923, the sign was erected, and it was around this time that American cinema started to become the powerful industry that it is today. Though the sign was intended to be temporary, it soon became internationally recognized. This had everything to do with the growing popularity of the Hollywood film industry, and these things led to the sign staying put.
Hollywood Sign tours can be enjoyed by Los Angeles visitors, and they offer insight into the history of this unique landmark. In terms of history, it is worth noting that the Hollywood Sign dropped the "land" tag in the 1940s. This move was made to reflect the Hollywood district, which had become far more recognized than the Hollywoodland housing development. One of the other interesting historical tidbits that visitors can learn about on Hollywood Sign tours is the suicide of actress Peg Entwistle, who originally hailed from Great Britain. In 1932, this renowned Broadway actress of the day jumped to her death off of the sign's letter H.
For those who are interested in Hollywood Sign tours, there are numerous options. More often than not, the sign is featured on a more extensive Hollywood tour or greater Los Angeles tour. For those who want to view the Hollywood Sign on their own, there are some popular vantage points that offer renowned views. These include Mulholland Drive and the renowned Griffith Park Observatory. In the past, it was possible to hike up to the sign, though measures have been taken to alter this practice. Nowadays, driving up Beachwood Canyon Drive is especially popular. This road winds its way through the Hollywood Hills, and the sign is in full view the whole way up.
While the Hollywood Sign fell into verifiable ruins over time, a restoration campaign in 1978 set to reestablish its former glory. New letters that are made out of steel were put in place of the old, wooden letters, and the newer letters measure about 45 feet tall. As is true during the early days of American cinema, the famous Hollywood Sign is an inspirational landmark that only helps to cement Los Angeles as the heart of the world's entertainment industry. While seeing it during the day is rewarding enough, taking in the Hollywood Sign at night is especially rewarding, provided you catch it on a night when it is illuminated. A number of lights illuminate the structure from time to time, making it stand out on the horizon. The nighttime lights also hint at the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, not to mention the spotlight that fame brings with it.
It is important to note that lights don't always illuminate the Hollywood Sign at night. This has a lot to do with the costs involved and the fact that people live in the area. Many of the area homeowners don't want the sign to be illuminated at night, as it becomes a nuisance to them. That being said, some believe that the famous Hollywood Sign should be illuminated every night. To cut down on costs, many have recommended solar panels. Time will tell when it comes to the lights, and as long as the movie industry is popular, the Hollywood Sign will shine bright, lights or no lights.