Coolidge-era real estate promotion goes sour
It was a peaceful area. People grew crops by their homes here. The neighborhood received a little fame when it staged a production of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” in a local canyon. The local residents, along with students from the nearby high school, acted in the production.
A few years later, the area attracted the attention of some investors, including some real estate developers and a newspaper publisher. To promote their real estate development, they erected huge signage, with letters 50 feet high and 30 feet wide, along with 4,000 light bulbs. The signage certainly attracted attention to the real estate community.
A few years later, however, the Great Depression hit, and plans to expand the real estate development were essentially dashed, along with many other business opportunities throughout the United States (and, for that matter, the world).
Meanwhile, the old advertising – the 50 foot by 30 foot letters – remained standing. However, the letters were falling apart, and the light bulbs had long since been stolen. The sign was only supposed to last 18 months, but it took 26 years for the city to finally decide to tear the sign down.
However, the city only tore down four of the letters – the letters L, A, N, and D. The remaining letters – HOLLYWOOD – still stand today, long after the real estate origins of the sign have been forgotten.