Tag Archives: Hollywood

Americana: Hollywood Walk of Fame

Cameron Diaz shows off her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce ruled that to get a star, you have to show up for the ceremony. So far, everyone has - except Barbara Streisand. Uploaded by haveuheard.net.

It stretches for 15 blocks along Hollywood Boulevard, and three blocks of Vine Street. That’s 1.7 miles total, featuring more than 2,500 stars. The biggest names in the entertainment industry are there, of course, but also a lot of people you never heard of, unless they’re your cousins. Who could ever forget Gregory La Cava, Fred Niblo, or Marie Doro? You’re right, we all could, and have. But something made them seem as worthy of a star as Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, Sidney Poitier.

Uploaded by dailycontributor.com.

Although conceived in the early 1950s, the first 1,558 stars weren’t finally ready for public view until 1961. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce administers the Walk, and it created a special committee to develop the criteria for inclusion and for selecting new honorees. Usually about 25 new stars are added each year. Stars are awarded in five categories: motion pictures, broadcast television, music, radio, and theater/live performance (added in 1984). Strangely, an individual can receive a separate star for each category, and only person has been recognized in all five – Gene Autry.

Some interesting facts:

  • The most common surname is Williams, and there are 15: Andy, Billy, Billy Dee, Cindy, Earle, Esther, Guy, Hank, Joe, Kathlyn, Paul, Robin, Roger, Tex, Vanessa.
  • The categories have been stretched to admit people who don’t really fit in one of the official five. Some of these include Magic Johnson, Muhammad Ali, and the Apollo XI astronauts.
  • Some stars celebrate fictional characters. Among these are Mickey Mouse, Godzilla, Lassie, and The Simpsons.

The Walk of Fame is said to be viewed by 10 million visitors annually.

Americana: The Hollywood Sign

 

The sign originally went up in 1923 to promote a real estate development, and proclaimed HOLLYWOODLAND. The Depression took care of the real estate, and finally, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce rescued the sign. Uploaded by luxuryvacationsource.com.

By 1923, the little California city of Hollywood was already synonymous with the movie industry. The lure of “Tinseltown,” with its proximity to the ocean and its warm climate, attracted people – and people need homes. So a new neighborhood sprang up in the hills, and its developer erected a huge sign to feature his investment: HOLLYWOODLAND.

Uploaded by los-angeles-attractions.com.

Each letter was 30 feet wide and 50 feet tall, and was originally illuminated by lights around its perimeter. At night blinked in sequence HOLLY… WOOD… LAND. Over the years the sign became neglected, however, and the Depression put an end to the real estate dream. The sign became city property in 1944. Fortunately, the Chamber of Commerce recognized what a symbol the sign had become, and revived it in 1949. It removed the “LAND”, and rebuilt the H, which had toppled, briefly leaving the area known as OLLYWOOD.

But after another generation of neglect, by the 1970s the sign had again fallen into disrepair. And this time, it had to be completely rebuilt. That took place in 1978, and today the sign is protected as a National Landmark and its own Hollywood Sign Trust. Today, the sign is 450 feet wide and is visible from all parts of Hollywood. Interestingly, the sign appears uneven because of the contours of the mountain; but looked at directly in front from the air, it’s actually completely straight. Unlike the city it represents…