Happy Holidays from the Hollywood Sign Trust! Check out this video featuring a recording of Silent Film Star Shirley Mason talking about Christmas in Hollywood in 1923 (the same year the Hollywood Sign came into existence!)
Yes, Hollywood has had a Sign for 90 years but what was Hollywood like before 1923? Check out our new homepage slideshow for a glimpse of pre-Sign Hollywood.
As Halloween approaches, the Hollywood Sign remembers all the times its been pranked. While that is one of the reasons why the Sign has such intense security now, it’s fun to remember the pranks of the past. Check out the Hollywood Sign’s wikipedia page for all the alterations!
Hollywood Sign Celebrates 90th Anniversary at Star-Studded Gala
Bob Barker, famed The Price is Right host–also celebrating his 90th–toasts Tinseltown’s biggest star
Hollywood, CA–Hollywood’s biggest star, the Hollywood Sign, celebrated her 90th birth year Thursday evening, September 19, at a packed event on the rooftop of Drai’s Hollywood, overlooking the world famous icon of the entertainment industry. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Sign Trust presented “The White Party,” named in honor of the nine most famous letters in the world, which received a complete makeover in preparation for its starring role last year.
The celebration was headlined by Bob Barker, famed host of The Price is Right and the Miss USA Pageant, who is also celebrating his 90th this year, and a roster of celebrities, dignitaries and fans.
Chris Baumgart, chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, noted that the Sign has experienced the ups and down of pursuing a dream. ”She never gave up and ultimately got the role as the symbol of the global entertainment industry. Today, she is recognized around the world, and her message is alluring: Bring your dreams to Hollywood, give it your best and you might make it to the top.”
Baumgart added the Sign started out in 1923 using the name “Hollywoodland.” In 1949, she received a makeover courtesy of the City of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, trimming down by four letters to become the Hollywood Sign we know today.
In 1978, at the low point of the Sign’s career, Hugh Hefner and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce launched a campaign to completely rebuild the Sign. She is now Tinseltown’s biggest star, standing 45 feet tall and 450 feet across, and the City of Los Angeles and Department of Recreation & Parks act as her bodyguards to keep away fans that might get too close.
Featured speakers and guests also included by Los Angeles Councilman Tom La Bonge, Donelle Dadigan, president and founder of The Hollywood Museum, presenting sponsor of the White Party, Hollywood Sign Trust Chairman Chris Baumgart and Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
“After 90 years of withstanding termites, landslides, earthquakes and whatever disasters Hollywood moviemakers have thrown at it, we thought it was appropriate to have a party to celebrate the Hollywood Sign,” said Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, “It is, without question, the ultimate symbol of Southern California. It has become an international icon–recognized, emulated and admired worldwide.”
Sponsors of the 90th anniversary celebration include: Presenting Sponsor: The Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building; Diamond Sponsors: Global Icons, Hollywood Sign Trust, and Variety; Platinum Sponsors: Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, L’Oréal Paris, Universal Studios, Drai’s, W Hotel, Taglyan Cultural Center, Divine Catering, Line 204; Gold Sponsors: Famous Hollywood Dental Care, Father of Hollywood, Fleischer Studios, Inc., Hollywood Hotel, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, Paramount Pictures; and Silver Sponsors: Author Services, Bliss Spa, Hilton Garden Inn, Imagination International, Inc., Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Sprinkles Cupcakes, US Bank.
The Hollywood Sign Trust is a 501(c)3 non-profit Trust responsible for repairing, maintaining, refurbishing and providing capital improvements to the Hollywood Sign for the benefit of the public at large. Its nine-member board is led by Chris Baumgart as its chairperson. More information about the Sign’s history and the Trust can be found at: www.hollywoodsign.org.
For more than 92 years, The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has provided leadership, advocacy, business development resources, networking, and government affairs programs and services to keep the Hollywood business and residential communities safe, relevant and economically vital. Heather Cochran is the Chair of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Leron Gubler is the President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. For more information please visit www.hollywoodchamber.net.
Here some of the press coverage from the event:
Zimbio posted pictures from the event.
ArtsBeatLA promoted the event before the party.
NBC Channel 4 News did a lovely story about the event.
Variety produced an article entitled The Hollywood Sign: Unlikely Rival for the Statue of Liberty, an article about the party itself, and an article about how Variety has featured the Sign over the years.
KTLA ran a story on the Hollywood Sign’s landmark year.
ABC joined in with a story – Note this ran on both ABC 7 News and ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.
The Examiner wrote about the entertainment and booths at the event itself.
KPCC and KCRW ran stories about the Sign and its history.
The Hollywood Sign teamed up with Oscars Outdoors for a special outdoor screening of Safety Last, a 1923 silent romantic comedy featuring the iconic image of Harold Lloyd clutching the hands of a giant clock as he dangles outside a skyscraper over the busy traffic below. The movie as well as the Sign was celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.
Hollywood Sign’s 90th Anniversary to be Celebrated at Two Events
The Hollywood Sign Trust and Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Announce Special “Oscars® Outdoors” Screening on August 9; Bash at Drai’s Hollywood Planned for September 19
Hollywood, CA – July 17, 2013 – Hollywood’s biggest star, the Hollywood Sign, is turning 90 years old – another odds-defying milestone for the former real estate billboard that went on to become one of the world’s most recognizable and evocative icons. To celebrate the Sign’s star-studded history, the Hollywood Sign Trust and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce are planning anniversary bashes that will be held in August and September.
In keeping with the Sign’s status as the global icon of the motion picture industry, the first event, a screening of Harold Lloyd’s famous film, Safety Last (which is also celebrating its 90th anniversary) will start at sundown on August 9 at “Oscar Outdoors,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ open-air venue in Hollywood. The program will include a montage of Hollywood Sign cameos in films over the years.
Sponsored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the second celebration will be held from 5-8 p.m. on September 19, at Hollywood’s newest hotspot, Drai’s Hollywood. Guests will party in true Hollywood fashion on the rooftop of the W Hotel, with the Sign itself serving as a spectacular backdrop.
“When the Hollywood Sign was built in 1923 it was an electric billboard advertising real estate – not the famous monument to the entertainment industry it has become. The exact date that billboard was completed was not recorded, so we are taking this opportunity to celebrate its 90th birth year on multiple occasions,” said Chris Baumgart, chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, the organization responsible for preserving the Sign and maintaining its image as the global symbol of the entertainment industry. “ Together with the Hollywood Chamber, we are hosting a series of celebrations for everyone to enjoy, focusing on the Sign’s importance to the film and entertainment industry, her fans and, of course, Hollywood.”
A Checkered and Star-Studded History: When the Sign was erected in 1923 by the Hollywoodland Real Estate Group, it was slated to last only a year and a half; but it quickly became the definitive image of “Hollywood” — the town, the industry, and the idea, all of which were just beginning to unfold.
Despite being named an official Los Angeles Cultural Historical Monument in 1973, the Sign had fallen into total disrepair by the time it was 50. In 1978 Playboy founder Hugh Hefner hosted a benefit to restore the Sign and several prominent members of the Hollywood community sponsored the refurbishing, one letter at a time. (Alice Cooper footed the bill for an “O,” while Gene Autry sponsored an “L”). Thanks to the help of these and other donors, a shiny new metal Hollywood Sign was unveiled in 1978.
In 2010 Hugh Hefner came to the rescue of the Sign for the second time when he, along with The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, philanthropist Aileen Getty and thousands of fans, donated funds to purchase the land to the west of the Sign and protect its stunning view.
And in 2012 Sherwin-Williams, the City of Los Angeles and the Trust joined together to give the biggest star in Tinseltown a major facelift, the most extensive refurbishing effort of its kind in nearly 35 years.
“Celebrating the Hollywood Sign’s 90th anniversary is as much of a celebration of Hollywood as it is of the Sign,” said Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. “It allows us to look back on how far Hollywood and the Sign have come – and how much more we can accomplish.”
To purchase tickets and learn more about the “Oscars Outdoors” screening on August 9, visit www.oscars.org/outdoors.
For information regarding sponsorship for the 90th Anniversary gala at Drai’s on September 19, email email@example.com.
To obtain press credentials for both events, contact: Betsy Isroelit, 213.300.0108, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Hollywood Sign Trust: The Hollywood Sign Trust is a 501(c)3 non-profit trust responsible for repairing, maintaining, refurbishing and providing capital improvements to the Hollywood Sign for the benefit of the public at large. Its nine-member board is led by its Chairperson Chris Baumgart. More information about the Sign’s history and the Trust can be found at: www.hollywoodsign.org.
About the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce:
For more than 92 years, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has provided leadership, advocacy, business development resources, networking, and government affairs programs and services to keep the Hollywood business and residential communities safe, relevant and economically vital. Heather Cochran is the Chair of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Leron Gubler is the President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. For more information please visit www.hollywoodchamber.net.
The Hollywood leading lady who cut the cake for the Hollywood Sign’s 80th anniversary, Esther Williams, has passed. Her long historic career helped create a new genre of movie – the swimming movie. From almost Olympic athlete (World War II stopped her from that) to Hollywood mega-star, Esther was a woman of many firsts: she was the first athlete to transition to star, at one time she was on the cover of 14 different magazines at once, and even helped popularize synchronized swimming. Her name can be found on pools, swimsuits, and up in lights and we are sad to say good-bye to such a wonderful woman. Click here for her bio and images.
Continuing the Hollywood Sign’s 90th anniversary celebration, a new slideshow has been posted titled “Moments in Hollywood Sign History: The 1978 Rebuild”
As part of the 90th celebration of the Hollywood Sign, the Hollywood Sign Trust will be featuring “Legends and Lore of the Hollywood Sign” slideshows on the home page.
The Hollywood Sign is proud to be in Argo, which just won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The Hollywood Sign is the hardest working actress in Hollywood appearing in over 150 movies, tv shows, video games, and music videos. If you see the Hollywood Sign in a movie, submit it here on our The Sign in the Movies page.
Dick Van Dyke was honored with the SAG Lifetime Achievement award. He starred in a 3D movie about the legend of the Hollywood Sign caretaker who replaced the light bulbs at the Sign when it was still lit.
Happy Birthday! The Hollywood Sign is celebrating her 90th birthday in 2013.
Extensive Makeover of the Hollywood Sign Now Complete
Sherwin-Williams Emerald™ Paint now protecting this iconic symbol
Tinseltown’s biggest star – The Hollywood Sign – has been restored to its full beauty once again thanks to a historic “face-lift” from Sherwin-Williams and The Hollywood Sign Trust. Over the nine-week refurbishment, the Sign’s nine letters had all existing coatings removed before being primed and painted with two fresh coats of Emerald Exterior Paint.
A cultural and historic landmark, the Sign is the pride of its owner, the City of Los Angeles. Sherwin-Williams and The Hollywood Sign Trust funded the project for the benefit of the City and its Department of Recreation and Parks, as well as Sign fans around the world.
“The Hollywood Sign Trust is excited that Hollywood’s leading lady received two tons of makeup in time to celebrate her 90th birthday,” said Chris Baumgart, chairman, The Hollywood Sign Trust. “We thank Sherwin-Williams for participating in this public-private partnership to restore an American icon that is recognized as a symbol of hopes and dreams around the world.”
The products used for the Sign’s most extensive refurbishment in nearly 35 years are designed to help the Sign retain its crisp white finish, especially against the elements. To ensure the makeover endures the test of time, the existing coatings were removed from each of the letters, a time-intensive process completed almost entirely by hand. Next, painters applied 105 gallons of Sherwin-Williams Pro Industrial™ Pro-Cryl® Universal Acrylic Primer – a product specially designed for surfaces where rust and corrosion resistance is critical. Lastly, they applied two coats – 255 gallons – of Emerald Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint in Sherwin-Williams High Reflective White (SW7757). Emerald Exterior Paint offers extreme resistance to blistering, peeling, chalking, fading, mold, mildew and dirt pickup.
“We are thrilled to be a partner in this historic refurbishment and honored that Sherwin-Williams innovative products were selected to restore the Sign’s beauty,” said Jay Davisson, president and general manager, Sherwin-Williams Paint Stores Group. “For 146 years, Sherwin-Williams has been protecting and beautifying America’s most prized possessions, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the White House, and many ballparks, museums and homes in between.”
Images of the refurbishment process are available upon request.
November 2012: HOLLYW is now completed on the Hollywood Sign. The Sign is on schedule for its early December completion, all thanks to Sherwin Williams.
November 2012: The HOLLY of Hollywood is now completely repainted. The project is now over half way done!
October 2012: The H and first L are now completed as the painting project continues.
ICONIC HOLLYWOOD SIGN GETTING A FACELIFT
Sherwin-Williams Emerald™ Exterior paint to protect landmark
THE PROJECT: The biggest star in Tinseltown – the Hollywood Sign – is getting a major makeover with Sherwin-Williams industry-leading Emerald Exterior Acrylic Latex paint. This is the most extensive refurbishing effort of its kind in nearly 35 years for the Sign, which will be repainted in its signature white.
A cultural and historic landmark, the Sign is the pride of its owner, the City of Los Angeles. Sherwin-Williams and the Hollywood Sign Trust are funding the project for the benefit of the City and its Department of Recreation and Parks, as well as Sign fans around the world. They have brought on Los Angeles-based commercial painting company Duggan & Associates to handle the task of completely stripping the current paint, and then priming and repainting. The work will help prepare the Sign to celebrate its 90th birthday in 2013.
The refurbishing efforts, which will start October 2, will take approximately eight to 10 weeks, and will require approximately 275 gallons of Emerald Exterior paint and 110 gallons of Pro-Cryl® Universal Acrylic Primer.
THE PAINT: Emerald Exterior Latex paint will ensure the Sign looks great for years to come. This exceptional, long-lasting finish delivers unsurpassed resistance to blistering, peeling, fading, mildew and dirt pick-up. Its durability and beauty is in a class of its own.
MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: Sherwin-Williams and the Hollywood Sign Trust will provide project updates throughout the painting process, as well as photos. To be included on update distributions, contact Whitney McChane at Sherwin-Williams@clynch.com.
SHERWIN-WILLIAMS: ASK SHERWIN-WILLIAMS™
As the nation’s largest specialty retailer of paint and painting supplies, Sherwin-Williams is dedicated to supporting both do-it-yourselfers and painting professionals with exceptional products, resources to make confident color selections and expert, personalized service that’s focused on unique project needs. Sherwin-Williams products can only be found at its more than 3,400 neighborhood stores across North America. For more information, visit sherwin-williams.com or join the conversation on Facebook at facebook.com/sherwinwilliamsforyourhome, on Twitter at twitter.com/sherwinwilliams or on Pinterest at pinterest.com/SherwinWilliams.
HOLLYWOOD SIGN TRUST: The Hollywood Sign Trust is a 501(c)3 non-profit Trust responsible for repairing, maintaining, refurbishing and providing capital improvements to the Hollywood Sign for the benefit of the public at large. Its nine- member board is led by Chris Baumgart as its Chairperson. More information about the Sign’s history and the Trust can be found at: www.hollywoodsign.org.
September 2012: NASA’s space shuttle’s Endeavour flew by the Hollywood Sign on its way to its final resting spot, the California Science Center.
August 2012: CNET released an article about the history and upkeep of the Hollywood Sign. This is just one of the many press stories about the Sign that are written every month. To see the article, click here.
July 2012: PBS’s History Detectives aired a special about the Hollywood Sign. Chris Baumgart, chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, was interviewed as their expert witness. To see the full episode, click here.
June 2012: The BBC did an interview with the first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, at the Sign about their new tourist promotional tie in with the Pixar movie, Brave.
March 2012: The Hollywood Sign website is now available in 15 languages. Just scroll to the bottom of the page to convert the Sign into another language.
February 2012: Award Season is always a busy time for the Sign. Almost every award show, including the grand finale of the Oscars, featured shots of the Hollywood Sign.
January 2012: The Hollywood Sign Trust launched its new website with more interactive features, photo galleries and history.
December 2011: At last count The Sign in the Movies section includes 83 movies, 25 television shows, 4 video games and 5 music videos featuring the Hollywood Sign. This area of the website is extremely popular and all sightings were sent in by fans of the Sign. If you spot the Sign, email us at email@example.com and we will add your find to our gallery.
November 2011: The Hollywood Sign Trust joined The Los Angeles Press Club in honoring Hugh Hefner with a lifetime achievement award.
September 2011: The Hollywood Sign Trust adds a ‘Teaching the Sign’ section to the website featuring downloadable worksheets, timelines, and fast facts of the Hollywood Sign for the classroom.
July 2011: The summer blockbuster, Friends with Benefits, features the Hollywood Sign and especially The Hollywood Sign security. The movie made sure to showcase that trespassing to the Sign is illegal and the police will ask you to leave.
February 2011: The Hollywood Sign launches a Facebook Page where local and international fans can express their love for The Sign and share their own stories about the biggest icon of movie making.
December 2010: The Hollywood community comes together for a Save the Peak Community Celebration in the parkland just below The Hollywood Sign, commemorating the historic preservation of the large land tract just west of the Sign. This festive occasion included a press conference, live music, Pink’s Hot Dogs, and one of the best views to be seen anywhere. Some of our celebrity guests included Council member Tom LaBonge, Hollywood Sign Trust Chairman Chris Baumgart, Trust for Public Land President Will Rogers, philanthropist Aileen Getty, and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.
April 2010: Thirty-two years after the Sign was rebuilt, the Sign’s #1 fan, Hugh Hefner, presents the Hollywood Sign Trust with the closing gift to ‘Save the Peak,’ capping efforts to raise funds to purchase and protect the 138 acres behind the Hollywood Sign. Thanks to Mr. Hefner’s contribution, grants from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and Aileen Getty, along with contributions from Hollywood leaders and fans around the world, the view that is inseparable from this cultural landmark will be protected. A star-studded press conference is held atop Mt. Lee, featuring remarks from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Council member Tom LaBonge, Hollywood Sign Trust Chairman Chris Baumgart, and Trust for Public Land President Will Rogers.
February 2010: The Hollywood Sign Trust joins the campaign to purchase and preserve 138 acres of Cahuenga Peak land adjacent to the Sign, which is in eminent danger of development for luxury estates. For the first time, the Trust grants official permission for the Sign to be temporarily covered by a banner. In support of fundraising efforts, The Trust for Public Land is permitted to place a banner over the Sign reading “Save The Peak.”
November 2009: By popular demand, HollywoodSign.org adds two new areas to the site: a list of appearances by the Sign in video games and music videos. Sharp-eyed Sign fans Rocco Battaglia, Randall Branam, and Marcel Pazzin discover over 15 before-unrecognized Sign appearances in film, tv, and video games to bolster the official list.
August 2009: The Sign’s security system is significantly upgraded with the newest software and hardware; the Sign is monitored 24 hours a day by City of Los Angeles security specialists. Security enhancements are a cooperative project between the City and the Hollywood Sign Trust.
April 2009 - The United States Coast Guard features the Hollywood Sign as the backdrop for a series of memorial photos honoring the Coast Guard’s fallen heroes.
April 2009 - ‘The Voice of America,’ the U.S.A.’s international broadcasting service, produced a news piece dedicated to the history, significance and maintenance of the Sign, and educating international viewers about the landmark.
March 2009 - Renner’s, the ‘Entertainment Tonight’ of Germany, airs a segment about the Sign, as it is a very important destination for German tourists. The piece covered the Sign’s fascinating history as well as the care and upkeep of the monument today.
Feb 2009 - Die Zeit, a German weekly news magazine similar to ‘Time,’ features the Hollywood Sign in its ‘Travel’ section. Just in time for the Oscars! Die Zeit is the most widely read German weekly newspaper.
Feb 2009 - Ming, China’s premier and popular lifestyle magazine, generated a feature on the Hollywood Sign, interviewing Sign trustee, Don Tillman. He detailed the nitty-gritty of maintaining and protecting this 45-foot high landmark.
Nov. 2008 - The Hollywood Sign continues its ongoing tradition of sponsoring ‘Opening Night’ at the AFI Film Festival, held at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood, with ‘Doubt,’ and cast members Meryl Streep (later nominated for Academy Award), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, etc. all hitting the red carpet. The long-time Hollywood Sign sponsorship of opening night at AFI Fest has helped grow the festival from a fledgling event into a truly world-class international film festival. A core mission of the Sign Trust is to educate the world about Hollywood’s seminal role in filmmaking and ensure it maintains its position as the epicenter of the global filmmaking world and keeps those ‘arc lights’ shining on a town that sparked the world’s love away with movies almost a century ago.
Oct. 2008 - Connie Talbot, British child star who won ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ at age six, visited the Hollywood Sign as part of her United States promotional tour. As a newly-minted star, Connie was excited to visit the international symbol of dreams coming true, the Hollywood Sign.
October 2008 - YSL features the Hollywood Sign in its glossy print advertising campaign, starring supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who took the Yves Saint Laurent baton as the face of the luxury fashion label for Spring/Summer 2009.
Sept 2008 - The U.S. Navy selects the Hollywood Sign to be featured in a segment entitled ‘America’s Landmarks,’ to be shown on military bases and ships all across the World.
Feb. 2008 - Popular PBS host Huell Howser generated a special, 1-hour look at the Hollywood Sign on his show ‘California Gold,’ delving into its rich, storied history, and significance. With special permission from the Sign Trust, Huell climbed to the base of the Sign to broadcast the piece, featuring interviews from members of the Sign Trust and amazing, new archival footage of the building of the Sign. You can view this show in its entirety here.
Jan. 2008 - 2008 represented the 30th anniversary of the historic restoration of the Sign. In 1978 it was determined that the Sign needed a total, letters-up rebuilding, and some of showbiz’s biggest names came to the financial rescue. Hugh Hefner hosted a gala fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion, where Sign letters were auctioned off individually to a diverse mix of sponsors from Alice Cooper to Gene Autry. The philanthropic campaign funded the makeover, which involved 194 tons of concrete, enamel and steel. And the Sign has been shining proudly for the three decades since…