The First Sign
The first sign was built in 1923 to advertise a real estate development called Hollywoodland. The original letters were 30 feet wide by 50 feet high and were adorned with some 4,000 lightbulbs which flashed to read “HOLLY” “WOOD” “LAND” followed by “HOLLYWOODLAND” all together.
It was intended to remain for only a year and a half, but the sign gained popularity and was left on the hillside.
The Modern Sign
Over the years, the sign sustained major damage as it was intended to be a temporary structure.
In the early 1940s, however, the sign’s caretaker was drunk driving when he lost control of his car and crashed into the H, destroying both his car and the H but remaining unharmed.
Come 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce started a restoration project that fixed up the sign to read HOLLYWOOD to represent the neighborhood and not the old housing development.
Built only of wood and sheet metal, however, the sign would continue to fall apart over the years.
By this time, it was also a popular site for pranks and vandalism. Pictured above, the sign was transformed to read HOLLYWeeD in 1976 after a state law decriminalized marijuana.
See what other changes the sign has undergone! Keep reading.
2017 wasn’t the first time it said ‘Hollyweed’…