5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Hollywood

On February 1, 1887, Hollywood was officially registered with the recorder’s office in Los Angeles County, California. Find out five things you probably didn’t know about Hollywood. Lights, camera, action!

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The Sign Was Created As A Real-Estate Advertisement The iconic Hollywood sign is the epitome of what Hollywood embodies. However, when the letters first went up, they had nothing to do with the entertainment industry. The Hollywood sign actually started out as an advertisement for a new real estate development financed by the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Harry Chandler.  In order to promote the project, Chandler and his partners put up $21,000 for 45-foot-high white block letters. At night the billboard flashed in four stages: “Holly,” then “Wood,” then “Land” and then the entire word, “Hollywoodland.” Although the sign was originally planned to stand just long enough to interest buyers, it proved too popular to be taken down. In 1949, the letters that spelled “land” were taken down to represent the town rather than just a single neighborhood.



Celebrities Helped Save The Sign In 1978 Some fifty-five years after it was erected, the Hollywood sign was beginning to fall apart due to age and weathering. Since Hollywood is a draw for many fledgling actors and actresses as well as tourists, it’s seems only natural that celebrities would want pitch in to help repair it. In 1978, Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner held a gala at his mansion, where he and eight other donors, including rock musician Alice Cooper, pledged nearly $28,000 each to fund a replacement. In 1978, Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner held a gala at his mansion, where he and eight other donors, including rock musician Alice Cooper, pledged nearly $28,000 each to fund a replacement.  In all, over $250,000 was raided to help save the iconic sign.

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Walk of Fame Stars Aren’t Free Okay, it’s not possible to just buy your way onto the Walk of Fame – you need to have achieved something in the entertainment industry in order to earn a spot. However, even if you’re a superstar A-List actor or actress, that small space on the Walk doesn’t come cheap. Every star who snags a spot on the Walk of Fame with their name on it must be nominated by a sponsor, and that sponsor has to agree to pay to create, install, and maintain the celebrity’s star. Just how much do they have to pay? A whopping $30,000.

Contracts in Old Hollywood Carried Morality Clauses Back in the early days in Hollywood, many stars had morality clauses in their contracts. That meant that if the public found out about an affair or immoral scandal, they could be immediately released. They had to also get approval for any relationships from the studio, and the clause even extended to children – studios used to discourage stars from having children, as they thought it was unpopular with the public, so pregnancies were one of the strikes against you according to the morality clause.

The Light On The Capital Records Tower Blinks In Morse Code The Capitol Records Tower with its blinking light often appears in movies or television shows filmed in Hollywood. An interesting bit of trivia is that the blinking light sends out the word "Hollywood" in Morse Code, and its been doing so since 1956. This bit of fun was the brainchild of Alan Livingston, the company's president at the time, and when it was ready to go live, he asked Leila Morse, inventor Samuel Morse’s granddaughter, to activate the switch.