Hollywood Sign Celebrates 100 Years: A Look Back At The Iconic L.A. Landmark


The world-famous Hollywood Sign, a symbol of the entertainment industry and the allure of Los Angeles, has reached a momentous milestone – its centenary anniversary. Standing tall in the Hollywood Hills, this iconic landmark has captivated the world for a century. Let us take a nostalgic journey through time and witness the evolution of this magnificent structure.

Key Takeaway

The Hollywood Sign, a beloved symbol of the entertainment industry and the city of Los Angeles, has turned 100 years old. Originally built as a promotional billboard in 1923, the sign has become an internationally recognized cultural icon. Over the years, it has undergone facelifts and temporary transformations, capturing the imagination of millions. As we celebrate its centenary, the Hollywood Sign continues to represent the glittering allure of showbiz and the relentless spirit of Hollywood.

A Vision Realized: Birth of the Hollywood Sign

On December 8, 1923, the Hollywood Sign illuminated the L.A. skyline for the very first time, originally reading “Hollywoodland.” Constructed at a cost of $21,000 by visionary L.A. Times publisher, Harry Chandler, the sign served as an enormous billboard for his real estate development venture.

The original letters, towering at 30 feet wide and 43 feet tall, consisted of sturdy metal squares held together by a framework of pipes, scaffolding, wires, and even telephone poles. This grand gesture was poised to symbolize the glamour and potential of the burgeoning entertainment industry.

Preserving the Legacy: Facelifts and Temporary Transformations

Over the past century, the Hollywood Sign has become part of showbiz folklore, leaving an indelible mark on popular culture. As time passed, the sign underwent several rejuvenations, ensuring its continued splendor.

Notably, the sign has undergone a series of temporary makeovers. In 2017, it garnered international attention when it briefly transformed to read “Hollyweed.” This playful alteration sparked a wave of nostalgia for the sign’s rebellious spirit from decades past. Likewise, the sign embraced the fervor of the city’s football fans, temporarily changing to “Rams House” after the team’s Super Bowl victory in the subsequent year. While this alteration faced mixed reviews, it demonstrated the sign’s ability to adapt to evolving cultural moments.

A Century of Enduring Fame

During its illustrious history, the Hollywood Sign has solidified its place as an enduring symbol of the entertainment capital of the world. It has served as a backdrop for countless films, television shows, and photographs, forever imprinting its image in the hearts and minds of millions.

As the sign celebrates its centennial, we commemorate its rich history and enduring legacy. From its humble beginnings as an ambitious marketing tool to its status as a global cultural icon, the Hollywood Sign has withstood the test of time, reflecting the dreams and aspirations of the industry it represents.