The Hollywood sign overlooking Los Angeles, California, USA
© Sean Pavone/Shutterstoc
Roll out the red carpet. Hollywood's big night
It's Oscars night in Tinseltown, so take a moment to gaze over Los Angeles with an unfamiliar view of a famous US landmark. The Hollywood Sign originally read 'Hollywoodland' when it was erected in 1923 and was festooned with light bulbs to advertise a property development. But within a few years, as the silent-film era gave way to 'talkies', the sign evolved into a popular tourist attraction. Falling into disrepair in ensuing decades (at the peak of its decay, the sign was missing its third 'O' altogether) the original was demolished and a sturdier version built in 1978.
Although it's inspired similar designs advertising everywhere from Ireland to Taiwan and the fictional Simpsons' hometown of Springfield, the Hollywood Sign is cherished by LA residents. Today, a dedicated non-profit company maintains and promotes the sign as both a source of local pride and an emblem of romanticised Hollywood.