The History of the Sign

The History of the Sign: Introduction

Historical photos courtesy of the Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photograph Collection and the Hollywood Sign Trust. Copyright © All Rights Reserved.

It’s fitting that the Hollywood Sign, the worldwide symbol of the entertainment industry, was conceived as an outdoor ad campaign for a suburban housing development called “Hollywoodland.”

After all, despite the high profile of the film biz, real estate has always been Hollywood’s primary economic driver.

Although the Sign’s appearance and purpose have evolved over the years, its basic aspirational message remains the same: This is a place where magic is possible, where dreams can come true.

Back then, the dream was a beautiful home and lifestyle. Today, the Sign’s promise is more subtle – and can only be described as the parade of images, desires and ideas conjured by the word “Hollywood.”

Come explore the fascinating past and present of this icon, town, industry, and idea in our detailed History of the Sign.

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