Old School Americana & Nostalgia


The Hollywood Sign Celebrates 100th Birthday

The Hollywood Sign Celebrates 100th Birthday

Late last month, Los Angeles celebrated the 100th birthday of the American landmark and pop culture icon, the Hollywood Sign. 

While celebrating the special milestone, Los Angeles Councilmember Nithya Raman and Los Angeles City Council, declared Oct. 31, 2023 “Hollywood Sign Day.” 

Councilmember Raman stated that the landmark is one of the top three tourist attractions in Los Angeles. It is also one of the “Crown Jewels” of Council District 4. “By celebrating the Hollywood Sign’s 100th anniversary, we also recommit ourselves to investing in sustainable efforts to maintain the parks, communities, and neighborhoods around it.”

Jeff Zarrinnam, Chair of the Hollywood Sign Trust, also stated that 2023 has been an incredible year for the landmark. It received historic firsts, and awards, and held various celebrations. “We all share a passion for the Hollywood Sign, which continues to be the global symbol of the entertainment industry and L.A.’s most iconic landmark.”

Adam Burke, President/CEO of the LA Tourism and Convention Board, noted the Hollywood Sign provides a “red-carpet welcome” for visitors.

The Hollywood Sign Was Only Supposed to Stay Up For 18 Months 

According to The Hollywood Sign’s timeline, the landmark was built by Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler as a $21,000 billboard for his Hollywoodland real estate development. The sign was erected in 1923 and was dubbed a “high-profile beacon” for Los Angeles. While it has been a symbol of film/television stardom, the sign was only supposed to last for just 18 months. 

Burke spoke to CBS News about Hollywoodland before The Hollywood Sign. “Hollywoodland was really about putting L.A. on the map as being one of the creative capitals of the world. So, [the landmark] was really designed to become what it really has become, which is a global marquee for, not just L.A., but for the film and television industry.

Burke also claimed that the long-lasting sign may be the most valuable sign in the world. “Last year alone, visitors to the broader L.A. area generated $34.5 billion of business sales to our local community,” he shared.

Tour guide, Chris Nye, points out that tourists act as though the sign is like seeing an actual celebrity. “They need something, sort of a cliché, to say, you know: Live from Los Angeles, from Hollywood!” Nye said. They keep taking the same pictures of these nine stupid letters on the side of Mount Lee over and over again. That’s why it’s become so iconic.”

Not only is the sign popular among tourists in LA, but it also appeared in various films over the years. Most recently, it appeared in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Other films include San Andreas, Sharknado, Gangster Squad, and even Austin Powers in Goldmember.