Discover Los Angeles photo of Hollywood Sign

As we’ve recently become smitten with the new Netflix series Hollywood, we couldn’t help but notice the Hollywood sign figuring prominently in the series. In fact, Hollywood (the series) follows a group of aspiring actors, an African-American writer and a half-Asian filmmaker post WWII as they hope to make it big one day in show business.

Hollywood Sign

No spoilers but as the season takes shape, the sign’s history gets worked in even more via a movie script.

Having lived in and around the City of Angels for nearly 12 years, I had numerous chances to admire the sign from parts of West Hollywood and particularly in Beachwood Canyon where my (deceased) uncle lived.

Beachwood Canyon is famous for being home to several celebrities and driving up Beachwood Drive road is a visual treat as it puts you right under the sign.

Hollywood Sign
[The Hollywood sign in 1935; photograph by Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library]

We’ve only known the Hollywood sign as such, however back in the early 1920’s, it was the HOLLYWOODLAND sign and it actually lit up! The sign was originally created for a local real estate development to be titled Hollywoodland.


Over the years, the sign has faced destructive fires, a suicide (at the letter H) and collapse due to a wind storm (the sign lay on the ground following the storm for over five years). In 1947, the City of Los Angeles wanted to tear it down.

Thanks to a group of supporters, the sign was reborn simply as the Hollywood sign. In 1973, it was bestowed with cultural monument status and has since been vandalized, allowed to deteriorate, been completely replaced and to this day, allowed to endure.

The sign’s even got its own security system to deter further vandalism and is protected by non-profit group The Hollywood Sign Trust.

The Hollywood sign

When it’s safe to travel again, consider a trip to the Bronson Canyon entrance to Griffith Park; you can hike to the sign from there. Alternatively, a trailhead near the Lake Hollywood Reservoir outside of the park offers a scenic vista point to enjoy views of both the sign and Lake Hollywood Park.

The Hollywood sign remains a cultural icon and a monument to the golden era of Hollywood.

Top image courtesy of Discover Los Angeles.

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