The Hollywood Sign celebrates its 100th anniversary

It is set on top of Mount Lee in the Santa Monica mountains in California

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The Hollywood Sign has officially turned 100.

The giant letters are as famous as the Los Angeles streets they tower above, and through its 100-year history, it has become one of the world’s most recognised landmarks.

Sat on top of Mount Lee in the Santa Monica mountains, the current sign is not the original, which, made from wood and sheet metal, fell afoul of the elements a few times over before its current version, which was made in 1978, and most recently repainted in 2005.

The sign was first illuminated on December 8, 1923, and originally said “Hollywoodland” to advertise an upscale housing developing in the city. Spanning about 137 metres and almost 15 metres tall, each letter had thousands of individual light bulbs thus making the sign visible day and night.

It wasn’t until 1949 that the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce took over the maintenance, reconstructing the lettering with a mixture of steel and concrete – and famously removed the letters L, A, N, D, leaving only the word Hollywood.

Now in its 100th year, the Hollywood sign has undergone an extensive renovation.

Workers have spent weeks pressure-washing the letters before adding layers of primer and repainting it in Sherwin-Williams shade Hollywood Sign Centennial White at the tail end of last year, ready for its birthday year.

The landmark not only shines as brilliantly as it did in 1923, but also has plans underway to enhance the tourist experience. This includes the construction of a new visitor centre set to house a museum showcasing the sign's history, an official gift shop and a movie theatre.

Updated: December 09, 2023, 8:08 AM