Hollywood - Known as the entertainment
capital of the world, Hollywood (part of Los Angeles) is located on
the slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains. Hollywood is home to
Universal Studios, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios as well as a number
of major recording companies.
The town got its name in
1887 when Daeida Wilcox, the wife of Kansas businessman Harvey
Wilcox, christened the southern California property owned by her
husband as "Hollywood" (taken from the name of a summer home owned
by a woman that Mrs. Wilcox had met on a train trip). This version
is supported by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
An alternate story states that Hollywood was named by H J Whitley
in 1886 as mentioned in the book "The Father of Hollywood" by Gaelyn
The most visible reminder of
the city are the massive white letters that spell out the name
"Hollywood" on the sign atop Beechwood Canyon Drive that overlooks
the City of Hollywood on Mt. Lee in the Hollwood Hills. The original
sign (erected in 1923) actually spelled out HOLLYWOODLAND. It was
built for a cost of $21,000 to advertise homes sold by the
Hollywoodland Realty Company, a real estate development of C.E.
On September 16, 1932, the noted New York stage actress
Peg Entwistle, jumped to her death from top of the fifty-foot high
"H" in Hollywoodland. Years later in 1942, the "LAND" portion of the
sign fell down, leaving the city with it's now famous landmark.
the years the Hollywood sign fell into disrepair due to vandalism
and lack of maintenance. In 1973 the sign was declared an historic
landmark and with the help of private donations a new Hollywood sign
was built and dedicated on November 11, 1978.
As of 1990s, the Hollywood sign had high-tech security system to protect it from
trespassers and vandals. Infrared TV cameras and radar activated
zoom lenses photograph anyone approaching the sign. The cameras are
monitored at Los Angeles County Park Rangers headquarters and images
of trespassers can be transferred from computer hard disk to video
should they decide to prosecute trespassers.
Another famous Hollywood tourist attraction is the Hollywood Walk of Fame which
extends from Hollywood Boulevard between Sycamore Avenue and Gower
Street, and Vine Street between Sunset Boulevard and Yucca Street.
The Walk of Fame was conceived by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
in 1953 and later dedicated on November 23, 1960 to honor
celebrities in film radio, television and the recording industries.
Currently, it costs about $4,800 to get a star on the famous gray
And finally who could visit Hollywood without
seeing the world famous Hollywood's Grauman's Chinese
Theater located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, west of
the Hollywood Freeway. This historic theater (named after its owner
Sidney Patrick Grauman/1919-1950) with an ornate oriental style
canopy has been seen in numerous films and television series.
Perhaps the theater's most famous tourist attraction is its concrete
paving in the front of the theater with movie star's hand and
footprints preserved in cement. A classic episode of the sitcom I
LOVE LUCY had zany Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) trying to steal the
concrete footprints of John Wayne.
Famous Zip Code for Beverly Hills,
notable community near Hollywood, California
TRIVIA NOTE: In the Disney movie The Rocketeer (1991), an
explosion created by evil Nazi spies destroyed the letters "LAND" in
the Hollywoodland sign. See also -NICKNAMES:
"Dating Capital of the World"
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