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The Hollywood Sign


You know you are in LA when you look towards the mountains and see the Hollywood sign. One of the most iconic images in the world, it is truly a sign that dreams are made of. But, did you know that the Hollywood sign wasn’t originally to be a beacon of the film and television industry? Back when it was built in 1923, it was meant to be a massive outdoor ad campaign for a new housing development known as “Hollywoodland”. Constructed from metal squares, each of the 13 letters was 30 feet wide and approximately 43 feet tall and lit up at night.  While the housing development eventually failed due to the Great Depression, the sign still stayed and the city eventually removed the “land” from the title to create the now famous sign, “Hollywood”.

Not unlike some actors and actresses in Hollywood, the sign did go through some rough times – the top of the “D” and the entire third “O” even fell down and it started to decay over the years, showing its age.  During the 70’s the sign underwent a civic restoration (AKA “facelift” – we are in LA after all!) and the City of Los Angeles eventually gave it official landmark status.  The Hollywood sign stands today as a proud symbol of the city that embraced the television and film industry many years ago. Last year, LA celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Hollywood sign. What is so incredible is that the sign  was originally only supposed to have lasted a year and a half as a real estate advertisement. It just goes to show you, that you never know when a star is going to be born in Los Angeles!

Check out our tours to the Hollywood Sign . LA Insider Tours takes you to the best viewing location for the sign. Take a look at our gallery to see the fantastic photos!