I have always been fascinated by the Hollywood’s world, a world of mixture between reality and glittering fantasy, of beauty, glamour, art, a world in which any dream can come to reality. The word Hollywood conjures the outstanding images of Sunset Strip, Hollywood Boulevard, Cahuenga Boulevard, La Brea Avenue, of nightclubs, movie palaces, special effects, extraordinary people – stars of the gaudiest illumination, Hollywood being often referred to as a “state of mind”. Hollywood is a segment of Los Angeles, California, USA. Here, almost a century ago, the American Dream burst bigger than anything, giving birth to a new world, the movie industry.
Of course, movies were, and still are, made in different locations, some nearby, and some far away. But nowhere and nothing frees our fantasies and stirs our hopes and fears, like that unparallel word: “Hollywood”. Actually, Hollywood is a town like any other, fighting against crime, poverty, sleaze, Hollywood’s real location being in the mind of movie lovers. Today Hollywood is the symbol of the Dream Factory and the world’s first movie industry, the center of all kinds of media production, from film, to the internet and television.
I tried to present the history of the Hollywood’s movie industry, gradually following its evolution, beginning with the first human evidence in this area (the Gabrielino Indians) in 1800, the first movie companies in Hollywood, to nowadays stars.
The Beginning of Hollywood
There was a time when the only stars in Hollywood were found in the night skies, arching over quiet farms and adobes. Before Hollywood became an entertainment mecca, it was home of pioneers, citrus groves and… stray camels. The first recorded human residents of ‘Hollywood’ were the Gabrielino Indians.
Writing in his diary of 1769, a Spanish priest noted Indian villages with their brush huts scattered in the canyons. After the first Spanish pueblo of Los Angeles was established, the native Gabrielinos vanished with hardly a trace. “Cahuenga”, meaning “little hills” in their language, is one of the few reminders of their founding presence. Mexico controlled California until the Mexican War of 1947. After the war, Mexican landowners were replaced by farmers from the East, including the new owners of Rancho La Brea (now Hollywood). In 1853, one adobe hut stood on the site that became Hollywood.
By 1870, an agricultural community flourished in the area with thriving crops, grain to subtropical bananas and pineapples. Until the mid-1800, the vast reaches and resources of California belonged to Mexico. When the United States defeated Mexico in the Mexican War of 1847, the original Mexican landowners, with the help of some slippery laws, lost their sprawling estates to farmers from the East. Adobes were replaced with wood frame houses with porches and windmills. Rancho La Brea, in the area now known as Hollywood, wound up in the hands of a family who built a tar refinery.
Workers of the tar beds unearthed the bones and teeth of prehistoric saber-toothed cats, woolly mammoths and dinosaurs. The family eventually gave the remarkable fossil beds, known as the La Brea Tar Pits, to Los Angeles County. During the 19th century, Hollywood was basically a frontier town complete with Westward Ho, pioneers, cowboys and the occasional bandit, straight out of central casting. It also had its share of flamboyant settlers, including one named “Greek George”. George arrived in the Cahuenga Valley with a drove of camels imported from Turkey. When the Mexican War broke out, George simply set the camels loose.
Somehow it seems fitting that frontier Hollywood should evoke surreal images like this one: hundreds of camels roaming free in the Hollywood Hills right through 1900 .
The name… ”Hollywood”!
The name „Hollywood has its origin in a Easter summer, home to a Cahuenga Valley ranch. In the middle of a sun-drenched nowhere, a sober, God-fearing man and woman settled in to create a like-minded community. Harvey Henderson Wilcox of Kansas, who made a fortune in real estate even though he had lost the use of his legs due to typhoid fever, and his wife, Daeida, moved to Los Angeles from Topeka in 1883.
In 1886, Wilcox bought 160 acres (0. 6 km? ) of land in the countryside to the west of the city at the foothills, in the Cahuenga Valley at, what is now, Hollywood Blvd. and Cahuenga Ave. He thought it would be a perfect site for a community that would reflect his conservative beliefs, and he built his house smack in the middle of a fig orchard. Accounts of the name, Hollywood, coming from imported English holly then growing in the area are incorrect. The name in fact was coined by Daeida Wilcox (1861–1914) who travelled by train to her old home in the east. On the train, Mrs.
Wilcox met a woman who described her summer home in Ohio named after a settlement of Dutch immigrants from Zwolle called “Hollywood”. Daeida was so elated with the name that she “borrowed” it for her ranch in the Cahuenga Valley; when she returned home she prevailed on her husband to name their property Hollywood. With that simple exchange, one of the most famous towns in the world got its name. Harvey Wilcox soon drew up a grid map for a town, which he filed with the county recorder’s office on February 1, 1887, the first official appearance of the name Hollywood.
With his wife as a constant advisor, he carved out Prospect Avenue (later Hollywood Boulevard) for the main street, lining it and the other wide dirt avenues with pepper trees, and began selling lots. Daeida raised money to build two churches, a school and a library. They imported some English holly because of the name Hollywood, but the bushes did not last. By 1900, Hollywood also had a post office, a newspaper, a hotel and two markets, along with a population of 500 people. Los Angeles, with a population of 100,000 people at the time, lay seven miles (11 km) east through the citrus groves.
A single-track streetcar line ran down the middle of Prospect Avenue from Los Angeles, but service was infrequent and the trip took two hours. Shortly after the turn of the century, the residents of the Cahuenga Valley were faced with three pressing problems. The streets were not getting the attention in proportion to the tax being levied by the county; a lack of school facilities and a growing sentiment for prohibition. In August, 1903, a petition was submitted to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors requesting the incorporation of the City of Hollywood.
The election for city hood was held on November 14, 1903 with voting lasting until 5:00 PM. After all the ballots were counted, the vote was eighty-eight for incorporation and seventy-seven against. Hollywood became a city of the sixth class with geographic boundaries extending from Normandie on the east, to Fairfax on the west, and from the top of the Santa Monica Mountains on the north to DeLongpre and Fountain avenues on the south. Hollywood’s first laws paint a telling portrait of the culture in those early days.
Liquor was prohibited except as a medical prescription; bicycles and velocipedes were prohibited on sidewalks; and horses, cattle and mules were no to be driven through Hollywood streets in herds of more than 200. Herds of more than 2000 hogs or sheep were banned if unattended by a “competent man”. Hardly the live-it-up tinsel town it would become in two short decades… In 1904, a new trolley car track running from Los Angeles to Hollywood up Prospect Avenue was opened. The system was called “the Hollywood boulevard. ” It cut travel time to and from Los Angeles drastically.
City hood for Hollywood only lasted six years. Hollywood’s population had grown too rapidly for the then existing water and municipal facilities. Annexation to the City of Los Angeles would assure the burgeoning community of adequate water, sewage and municipal services. The election, held in 1910, was an overwhelming victory for annexation. Hollywood became part of Los Angeles. Real estate developers were tempting Easterners to Hollywood with promises of sun, wide boulevards and palatial homes. Elaborate rail lines crisscrossed the Cahuenga Valley. Hotels, schools, churches and extravagant residences popped up.
The Films of Edwin S. Porter – the “Father of the Story Film”
“Moving pictures” were increasing in length, taking on fluid narrative forms, and being edited for the first time. Inventor and former projectionist Edwin S. Porter (1869-1941), who in 1898 had patented an improved Beadnell projector with a steadier and brighter image, was also using film cameras to record news events.
Porter was one of the resident Kinetoscope operators and directors at the Edison Company Studios in the early 1900s, who worked in different film genres. At Edison’s Company, he experimented with longer films, and was responsible for directing the first American documentary or realistic narrative film, The Life of an American Fireman (1903). The six-minute narrative film combined re-enacted scenes and documentary footage, and was dramatically edited with inter-cutting between the exterior and interior of a burning house.
Edison was actually uncomfortable with Porter’s editing techniques, including his use of close-ups to tell an entertaining story. With the combination of film editing and the telling of narrative stories, Porter produced one of the most important and influential films of the time to reveal the possibility of fictional stories on film. The film was the one-reel, 14-scene, approximately 10-minute long The Great Train Robbery (1903) – it was based on a real-life train heist and was a loose adaptation of a popular stage production. His visual film, and not particularly artistic by today’s standards – set many milestones at the time.
In an effective, scary, full-screen closeup (placed at either the beginning or at the end of the film at the discretion of the exhibitor), a bandit shot his gun directly into the audience. The film also included exterior scenes, chases on horseback, actors that moved toward (and away from) the camera, a camera pan with the escaping bandits, and a camera mounted on a moving train. Porter also developed the process of film editing – a crucial film technique that would further the cinematic art. Most early films were not much more than short, filmed stage productions or records of live events.
The Hollywood Sign
In 1923, The Hollywoodland Real Estate Group unleashed one of history’s brashest and longest-lived promotions. In the course of that event, a Sign was born . Hollywood Sign is a famous landmark in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, spelling out the name of the area in 50-foot (15. 2 m) high white letters. It was created as an advertisement in 1923, but garnered increasing recognition after its initial purpose had been fulfilled. The sign is a frequent target of pranks and vandalism, and has undergone periodic restoration over the years.
The sign is now a registered trademark and cannot be used without the permission of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which also manages the Walk of Fame. He suggested to his friend Harry Chandler, the owner of the Los Angeles Times, that a land syndicate he was involved in make a similar sign to advertise their land. Real estate developers Woodruff and Shoults called their development “Hollywoodland” and advertised it as a “superb environment without excessive cost on the Hollywood side of the hills. ” They contracted the Crescent Sign Company to erect thirteen letters on the hillside, each facing south.
The sign company owner, Thomas Fisk Goff (1890-1984) designed the sign. Each letter of the sign was 30 feet (9 m) wide and 50 feet (15 m) high, and was studded with some 4000 light bulbs. The sign was officially dedicated on July 13, 1923. It was not intended to be permanent. Some sources say its expected life was to be about a year and a half the Sign has survived eight decades – and is still going strong. At the beginning The Hollywood Sigh simbolized the the dreams and the hopes of the young actors from all over the world.
In September of 1932, actress Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping to her death from the letter “H”, as she saw the sign as a symbol of the industry that had rejected her. Peg was a young girl longing to create herself an astonishing career, dreaming to fame, money, glamour.
She did some auditions, but spent most of the brutally hot summer of ’32 just hanging around her uncle’s house, waiting for a phone call that never came. The magical world of movies did not embrace this graduate of the world-famous Thater Guild. As a sign of revolt Peg climbed 50 feet up a workman’s ladder to the top of the “H” and plunged five stories into the dark night below. According to the summer 2006 edition of “The Beachwood Voice,” during the early 1940s, Albert Kothe (the sign’s official caretaker) caused an accident that destroyed the letter “H”, as seen in many historical pictures.
Kothe was driving his car up to the top of Mount Lee drunk, lost control of the vehicle, and stumbled off the cliff behind the “H”. While Kothe was not injured, the 1928 Ford Model A was destroyed, as was the “H”. In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce stepped in, offering to remove the last four letters and to repair the rest. Because the city dictated that all subsequent illumination would be at the cost of the Chamber, it opted not to replace the light bulbs. The 1949 effort gave it new life, but the wooden nd sheet metal sign continued to deteriorate in the open air of the Hollywood Hills. Eventually the first “O” splintered and broke off resembling a lowercase “u”, and the third “O” fell down completely leaving the severely dilapidated sign reading “HuLLYWO D”.
In 1978, the Chamber set out to replace the intensely deteriorated sign with a more permanent structure. Nine donors gave $27,700 apiece to sponsor replacement letters made of Australian steel, guaranteed to last for many years (see Donors section below). These new letters were each 45 feet (13. m) high and ranged from 31 to 39 feet (9. 3 to 11. 8 m) wide.
The new version of the sign was unveiled on Hollywood’s 75th anniversary, November 14, 1978, before a live television audience of 60 million people. Refurbishment, donated by Bay Cal Commercial Painting[, began again in November 2005, as workers stripped the letters back to their metal base and repainted them white. Also in 2005, the original 1923 sign was put up for sale on eBay by producer/entrepreneur Dan Bliss. Bliss sold the sign to artist Bill Mack.
The Growing Film Industry
Businessmen soon became interested in the burgeoning movie industry. Some of the biggest names in the film business got their start as proprietors, investors, exhibitors, or distributors in nickelodeons: Adolph Zukor, Marcus Loew, Jesse Lasky, Sam Goldwyn (originally named Goldfish) ,the Warner brothers, Carl Laemmle, William Fox, Louis B. Mayer. They realized that further profits could be derived from new systems of distribution, and by expanding the film audience to the middle-class, women, and children.
At first, films (and the necessary projection machinery and equipment) were sold, not rented, to exhibitors. As film production increased, cinema owner William Fox was one of the first (in 1904) to form a distribution company (a regional rental exchange), that bought shorts and then rented them to exhibitors at lower rates. The Warner brothers (Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack) opened their first theatre, the Cascade, in New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1903, and then in 1904 founded the Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Amusement & Supply Company (the precursor to Warner Bros. Pictures) to distribute films.
The new Hollywood
By 1913, Hollywood was in the midst of what has been justly labeled an overnight transformation. Film replaced farm and frontier. Movie studios were literally sharing space in Hollywood barns with bemused livestock.. The film business turned Hollywood on its ear. The population boomed, Real banks and business were booked on weekends for film hold-ups, and the streets were roped off for car crashes. Movie studios literally operated out of barns, with directors conveniently recasting the horses and cows in their many westerns.
The needs of this thriving new industry created radical changes in the communitycausing a clash between older and newer residents. Acres of agricultural land south of what-is-now. Hollywood Boulevard were subdivided and developed as housing for the enormous numbers of workers that movie-making required. High-rise commercial buildings began to spring up along Hollywood Boulevardthree competing real-estate interests caused concentrations of development at Highland, Cahuenga, and at Vine. It wasn’t long before nearly all the homes along the Boulevard were replaced by commercial buildings linking the three corners.
Banks,. Restaurants, clubs and movie palaces sprang up, catering to the demands of the burgeoning film industry. The Hollywood landscape changed dramatically as the town struggled to keep up with the demands of a swelling population and booming industry. Hollywood’s familiar skyline of multi-storied hotels and apartments appeared. The ornamental Spanish Colonial Revival style reflected Hollywood’s self-conscious extravagance while the new Art Deco and Moderne styles fit the community’s aspirations for glamour and sophistication.
Hollywood also boasted of the most extraordinary “movie palaces” in the country. Grauman’s Egyptian Theater celebrated the rage of all things Egyptian that had begun with the recent unearthing of King’s Tut’s tomb. A melange of sphinxes, temples, columns and murals, Grauman’s was unveiled in 1922 on Hollywood Boulevard. Just a few years later, Grauman out did his exotic extravaganza with his new Chinese Theatre. The imported pagodas and authentic rare Chinese artifacts wowed the public and guaranteed him a place in Hollywood history.
The Beginning of the Academy Awards
The non-profit organization, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was founded in 1927 with Douglas Fairbanks as president, to recognize and reward excellence within the film industry. The AMPAS organization established the Academy Awards in the late 1920s and first announced them in February 1929, and then distributed them in mid-May of 1929 for films opening between August-1927 and late July-1928. In the first year of the Academy Awards’ presentations, separate awards (not known as Oscar quite yet) were given for Best Production (now termed Best Picture).
There were two “Best Picture” winners: the financially successful anti-war film, William A. Wellman’s Wings (1927) for Best Production and Sunrise (1927) for Best Unique and Artistic Picture (a category that was immediately dropped). Wings (1927), coming at the end of a cycle of films about WWI, featured exciting aerial combat sequences and starred Clara Bow and a young actor named Gary Cooper. These films were the only silent films ever to win the Academy Award for ‘Best Picture’. The Jazz Singer (1927), declared ineligible for the Best Picture award, was given a special award for revolutionizing the industry.
The Golden Age of Hollywood
The 1930s decade (and most of the 1940s as well) has been nostalgically labeled “The Golden Age of Hollywood” (although most of the output of the decade was black-and-white). The 30s was also the decade of the sound and color revolutions and the advance of the ‘talkies’, and the further development of film genres (gangster films, musicals, newspaper-reporting films, historical biopics, social-realism films, lighthearted screwball comedies, westerns and horror to name a few). It was the era in which the silent period ended, with many silent film stars not making the transition to sound (e. . , Vilmy Banky, John Gilbert, and Norma Talmadge).
By 1933, the economic effects of the Depression were being strongly felt, especially in decreased movie theatre attendance. Talented actors, directors, and technicians arrived from Europe to work for the studios. Famous writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940), Dorothy Parker (1893–1967), and William Faulkner (1897–1962) made the journey west to work in pictures. Hollywood became a playground for celebrities eager to get themselves noticed. Private lives became public property, and there was a sense that anything could be bought.
As ever, people outdid one another with brash displays of wealth. As crime-writer Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) put it: “In L. A. to be conspicuous you would have to drive a flesh-pink Mercedes-Benz with a sun porch on the roof and three pretty girls sunbathing. ” Meanwhile, a new ‘sound’ was on the rise. By 1930 radio programming had evolved from its primitive crystal set beginnings. In 1932 Hollywood’s first three station, KNX, KHJ and KFI hit the waves. Although it wasn’t the broadcasting capital, Hollywood’s radio pioneers were relentless in their promotional zeal.
The founder of KNX once managed to broadcast a murder trial after his reporters were thrown out of the courtroom. The Coconut Grove on Wilshire Boulevard, playground to the glitterati, was one of the first rooms on the West Coast to broadcast a live orchestra via radio.
Hollywood During the War Years
The early years of the 40s decade were not promising for the American film industry, especially following the late 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, and the resultant loss of foreign markets. However, Hollywood film production rebounded and reached its profitable peak of efficiency during the years 1943 to 1946 – a full decade and more after the rise of sound film production, now that the technical challenges of the early 30s sound era were far behind.
Advances in film technology (sound recording, lighting, special effects, cinematography and use of color) meant that films were more watchable and ‘modern’. Following the end of the war, Hollywood’s most profitable year in the decade was 1946, with all-time highs recorded for theatre attendance.
The world was headed toward rearmament and warfare in the early to mid-1940s, and the movie industry, like every other aspect of life, responded to the national war effort by making movies, producing many war-time favorites, and having stars (and film industry employees) enlist or report for duty. The US government’s Office of War Information (OWI), formed in 1942, served as an important propaganda agency during World War II, and coordinated its efforts with the film industry to record and photograph the nation’s war-time activities.
Tinseltown aided in the defensive mobilization, whether as combatants, propagandists, documentary, newsreel or short film-makers, educators, fund-raisers for relief funds or war bonds, entertainers, or morale-boosters. Films took on a more realistic rather than escapist tone, as they had done during the Depression years of the 30s. In the Hollywood of the 1930’s, actors could expect little more than $15 a day working under the harshest conditions. Even so, in 1933, during the darkest days of the Depression, actors were ordered to take a 50% pay cut because of falling profits at the box office.
It was then that a small group of actors decided to organize. They formed a self-governing guild that today we know as Screen Actors Guild. Vying for recognition, the guild finally received its first union-shop contract in 1937. It included wage increases, pension and health plans, residuals, regulation of talent agents, and safety standards on the set as major provisions. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th the entertainment industry became a full-time war industry. Studio trucks transported troops instead of movie sets.
Stars like Clarck Gable, Jimmy Steewart and Victor Mature quickly enlisted, while wartime restrictions and shortages dramatically changed the way movies were made. World War II impacted every aspect of film production in Hollywood. Distant or exotic locations were no longer and option. Sea shots were prohibited from Seattle to San Diego. The government seized the nation’s supply of rolling stock, and train shots were nixed, air raid blackouts eliminated all night filming. Lavish sets were a casualty of materials shortages.
Nails were counted at each studio, and sets were made so that a post office could be quickly turned into an airport. Studios hoarded their precious two punds of hairpins a month. During WWII, there were no lavish historical epics and no expensive car chases or crashes. Out of necessity, space psychodramas and the Age of Film Noir replaced the grand and costly extravaganzas of years past. With the downsizing of the movie industry, music became the craze to the ears of the nation. Like never before, Hollywood could shape the world through radio and the record industry.
In 1940, to profit form this upcoming trend, Glenn Wallichs built his famous Wallichs’ Music. The record store became so popular with students from both Hollywood and Fairfax high schools, that it sold more records than any store west of Chicago, Illinois. Wallich’s popularity with his record store spurred him to partner with Johnny Mercer two years later to form Capitol Records. By pioneering marketing strategies coupled with album design, the company went on to become one of the top three in the industry. War drew Hollywood together as a close-knit family, erasing the distinction between stars and regular people.
Returning soldiers swelled the city’s population, and Hollywood pulled together to feed, shelter and entertain them. Hollywood’s most famous names volunteered their time and services in the name of the war effort. Returning soldiers outnumbered civilians in downtown Hollywood ten to one. They slept in parks and theater lobbies, until “Mom” Lehr’s Hollywood Guild and Canteen began offering them a bed and three meals a day. On average, 800 stayed with Mom on a week night 1,200 on weekends. The similar-sounding Hollywood Canteen catered to 2000 servicemen who would jam the club each night for free food, drink and top Big Bands.
All 6000 radio and screen entertainers volunteered. Marlene Dietrich cut take, washed dished and sang. Betty Grable, Olivia de Havilland and Greer Garson played hostess. The busyboys: Fred MacMurray, Basil Rarhbone, John Loder and John Garfield. 100,000 soldiers a month devoured 4,000 loaves of bread, 1,500 pounds of coffee, and 150,000 pieces of cake 10. Stars By 1916, Hollywood was luring hopeful tar and starlets, from all over the globe, young girls and boys seeking for celebrity. The Hollywood Studio Club provided refuge for the would-be starlets for decacades.
Stars as Marilyn Monroe, Barbara Eden, Donna Reed and Kim Novak passed through its doors on their way to the spot light. Until 1920, in one short decade, the film industry had created a new “gold rush” town. Would-be stars and would-be studios crashed and burned while a new breed of super-stars and all-powerful studios emerged. Movies places, glamorous addresses, infamous clubs, and high-rise skyline sprung up like wild flowers changing the landscape forever. Nation was made during World War I, which, while derailing the European cinema, left American moviemaking as the leader of the pack.
Hollywood boasted famous names like Mary Pickford and Charles Chaplin, and, as much as anything, the star system defined the American movie. Certainly the great dream factories like MGM, Warners and Fox were the disseminators of the celluloid champagne, but then, as now, people usually chose what they would pay to see by whose name was on the marquee. After the First World War, Hollywood’s population grew at breakneck pace: from 5000 in 1910 to 36000 by 1920. Rumors of stars making $3000 a week in Hollywood lured the average Joe and Josephine, who was earning $15 elsewhere.
With a frenzy gold rush on Hollywood, the Chamber of Commerce felt obliged to take out newspaper ads warning: “Don’t try to break intro the movies in Hollywood. It may save disappointments. Out of 100,000 people who started at the screen’s ladder of fame — ONLY FIVE REACHED THE TOP! ” Dozens of small studios were engaged in a cutthroat battle for survival. Many went bust as quickly as they surfaced. Small studios set up shop near Sunset and Gower, and their high mortality rate led to the nickname, “Poverty Row.
Hundreds of “movie cowboys” and assorted extras would linger on that corner, feverish for a casting call. That spot was thereby nicknamed “Gower Gulch”, and is still referred to that nickname by Los Angelinos today. Hollywood theatre By 1920, 40 million Americans were going to the movies each week, and 20 major Hollywood studios were churning out fare for their insatiable appetites. Actors lived in fantasy homes in Hollywood (and later Beverly Hills). People were thrilled simply to drive by these castles, hoping beyond hope they might catch sight of a Theda Bara or a Tom Mix.
The stars held gala bashes to die for — Harvey Wilcox’s dream of a nice temperate village in the fig grove had given way to a pretty good replica of Gomorrah — and wore clothes that were more swell than a bee’s knees. There were magazines and books devoted to them, photos of them to cut out and kiss. They were, truly, American royalty. Addresses like the Garden Court or The Chateau Elysee took on the glamour of stars like Gable and Lombard who resided there. The most infamous address in this infamous town was the Garden of Allah at 8150 Sunset.
Opening night in 1921 kicked off with a decadent 18-hour party that had troubadours playing madrigals from the middle of the pool. The party raged for 32 years. If those walls could talk, they would tell of robberies, murders, orgies, divorces, fights, suicides and drunken revelries. John O’hara, Tallulah Bankhead and Clara Bow called it home. Stars were not free to seek their own contracts during these years and very often stars would be “loaned” by one studio to another. Films produced were of mediocre standard, but the fame that came with being an actor was the driving force that kept the stars working.
Soon Americans had heard of the ‘Hollywood mythology’ – ‘You can move to Hollywood and change your life. ‘ Many people believed this and moved from their hometown to Hollywood, hoping that they would be picked by directors on Hollywood Boulevard and earn big bucks. Of course, many went home disappointed and broke.
Today Hollywood has established itself as the single center of film and television industry, a vibrant, progressive urban area that looks forward to a new era of pride and glory among stars. Hollywood is a district in Los Angeles, California, U. S. A. , situated west-northeast of Downtown. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and stars, the word “Hollywood” is often used as a metonym for the American film and television industry.
Today much of the movie industry has dispersed into surrounding areas such as Burbank and the Westside, but significant ancillary industries (such as editing, effects, props, post-production, and lighting companies) remain in Hollywood. The Boundaries of Hollywood, as established by the California Legislature (AB 588)
Many historic Hollywood theaters are used as venues and concert stages to premiere major theatrical releases, and host the Academy Awards. It is a popular destination for nightlife and tourism, and home to the Walk of Fame. Although it is not the typical practice of the City of Los Angeles to establish specific boundaries for districts or neighborhoods, Hollywood is a recent exception. On February 16, 2005, Assembly Members Goldberg and Koretz introduced a bill to require the State to keep specific records on Hollywood as though it were independent.
For this to be done, the boundaries were defined. This bill was unanimously supported by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the LA City Council. Assembly Bill 588 was approved by the Governor on August 28, 2006, and now the district of Hollywood has official borders. The border is shown at the right, and can be loosely described as the area east of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, south of Mulholland Dr. , Laurel Canyon, Cahuenga Blvd. and Barham Blvd. , and the cities of Burbank and Glendale, north of Melrose Avenue, and west of the Golden State Freeway and Hyperion Avenue.
Note that this includes all of Griffith Park and Los Feliz—two areas that were hitherto generally considered separate from Hollywood by most Angelinos. The population of the district (including Los Feliz) as of the 2000 census was 208,237 . The commercial, cultural, and transportation center of Hollywood is the area where La Brea Avenue, Highland Avenue, Cahuenga Boulevard, and Vine Street intersect Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. The population of the district is estimated to be about 300,000.
As a portion of the City of Los Angeles, Hollywood does not have its own municipal government, but does have an appointed official that serves as “honorary mayor” for ceremonial purposes only. Currently, the “mayor” is Johnny Grant. Since this is a non-elected, honorary position, Grant has held this position for decades.
- The New Encyclopaedia Britannica” – volume V, William Benton, Helen Hemingway Benton, 1768, 15TH edition
- http/en. wikipedia. org – Online Encyclopaedia