Petit Futé's opinion on HOLLYWOOD SIGN
These nine white letters on a hill of Griffith Park, today the symbol of the film industry, were erected in 1923 for reasons that have nothing to do with Seventh Art. At that time, the small town of Hollywood and its hills began to attract new residents from all over the country (especially from the east coast) who came to try their luck in a region. attractive, with its almost permanent sunshine and its new growing industry. The emergence of an elite in the film industry participated in Hollywood development; restaurants and nightclubs have gradually settled on Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard. To encourage the development of the city, the developer (and incidentally publisher of the Los Angeles Times of the time) Harry Chandler built the Hollywood Sign. " Hollywoodland "could read on the original, echoing the name of the real estate company created by Chandler. Originally, the 13 high letters 13 metres wide and 9 metres wide were lit by no fewer than 4 000 ampoules ampoules.
Hollywood has always attracted a lot of aspiring actors, but there has never been enough space for everyone. The Hollywood Sign is linked to a dark story, that of Peg Entwistle, an actress promised to a beautiful career on planks of Broadway. Tried by the cinema, Peg decided to try his luck in Hollywood and landed at his uncle who resided there in 1931. After a year trying to get a role that could launch his career as an actor in vain, she suicide by skipping the letter «H» from Sign. According to legend, its ghost haunts the surrounding area. Since then, it has become the symbol of the dark side of Hollywood, the one that breaks the dreams of those who come to search for glory and fortune.
The 1929 economic crisis was felt to the west coast, and many companies were condemned to put the key under the door, which was the case with Chandler's real estate company towards the early 1940 s. The Hollywood Sign became the property of the city in 1944. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided in 1949 to remove the last four letters; the remaining letters deteriorated, so that in 1978 they were all removed and replaced by the ones we can see today. While it was supposed to be dismantled after a year and a half, the Hollywood Sign is still almost a century later, witness to an industry that it saw grow.
Today, access to the famous letters is closed by a high mesh and we cannot approach them more than 100 metres. The closure of the site is decided following problems of degradation, but also because, highly symbolic, it became the favourite place of the cursed artists to end their days.
If it is not possible to go to the foot of the Hollywood Sign, you can still get closer to it and admire it more closely by car or during a hike in Griffith Park.
By car. This is the exact route to see the famous sign closer to Hollywood: on Franklin Avenue, parallel to Hollywood Boulevard, take Beachwood Drive, which rises in the hills. Near the sign, take the small streets (Woodshire Drive, Flagmore Drive, Durand Drive) to Mulholland Highway: that is. In 1923, the 15 m high letters are set up for advertising in Hollywoodland, a real estate program at the time. They remained… In 1978, the city declared the giant historic monument, and removed the end of the word.
On foot. From Mount Hollywood Trail: it's the second highest hill in the park. It can be accessed from the Griffith Observatory.
From Canyon Boulevard Trail, which ends behind the Hollywood Sign.
From the Cahuenga Peak Hike. This walk is reserved for experienced hikers as the trail is more steep than the two previous ones.
To make beautiful photos, you don't need to get too close to Sign. You can see it from the intersection between Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, from Griffith Observatory and also from some portions of Mulholland Drive.
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