How to Cover the Hollywood Sign: A Primer

February 27, 2010 § Leave a comment


"Save the Peak" February 15, 2010/Hope Anderson Productions

Ever since “Save the Peak” I’ve been wondering how the covers for the Hollywood Sign were made. Did someone get an enormous tape measure or was some other, easier method employed? Today I found out via a random phone call from Raiden Peterson, who appears in my documentary, “Under the Hollywood Sign.”

Raiden was Pacific Outdoor Advertising’s construction supervisor in charge of rebuilding the Hollywood Sign in 1978. In order to perfectly replicate the original, Raiden personally measured each letter of the old Sign; he has blueprints and pictures to prove it. Rather than go to all that bother again, the organizers of “Save the Peak” simply contacted him for the specs, and voila!–Sign covers.

Raiden doesn’t think they looked all that great either, but at least they fit.

Happy Birthday, Under the Hollywood Sign!

February 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Shooting at the Sign, 2006. l-r: David Person, Tjardus Greidanus, Hope Anderson/Photo Courtesy Ken Pries


A year has passed since I started this blog–something I did by accident in an attempt to create a new website for my documentary, “Under the Hollywood Sign.” While I soon discovered WordPress wasn’t ideal for the website (the eventual result can be seen at, blogging has proved the perfect outlet for my research and writing on Beachwood Canyon’s history and present-day life.

Over the past year, Under the Hollywood Sign has allowed me to delve more deeply into the  topics explored in my documentary and to branch out into other areas.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the work of researching, writing and photographing these pieces and have been gratified by an ever-increasing readership and some interesting comments.

There’s plenty more to come. In the meantime, thanks to all who’ve visited.

Hope Anderson

Hollywood Sign Restored; Tourists Breathe Collective Sigh of Relief

February 16, 2010 § 1 Comment

Photo by Hope Anderson Productions

SAVE THE PEAK is gone from Mt. Lee. Under the Hollywood Sign was driving home this afternoon when she saw the last two covers come off, revealing those reassuring white letters spelling you-know-what.

Bring on the tour buses!

Graphic Evidence of Educational Decline Found on Mulholland Highway

February 16, 2010 § 4 Comments

Photo by Hope Anderson Productions

SAVE THE PEAK: Not a Hit with Tourists

February 15, 2010 § 2 Comments

The Sign Today/Hope Anderson Productions

The Hollywood Sign now reads SAVE THE PEAK, an alteration that fulfills the Sign’s original function as a billboard. But the transformation has been crushing to the tourists who normally throng Beachwood Canyon to take pictures of the Sign. When the project began, some reportedly asked for refunds from tour bus drivers; now, two days into SAVE THE PEAK, there has been a dearth of open vans taking tourists up to Canyon Lake Drive, loudspeakers blaring.

Thanks to their absence, Hollywoodland has been especially peaceful this Presidents’ Day Weekend. Now if Under the Hollywood Sign could just do something about her noisy neighbors, she’d be in heaven.

The Hollywood Sign: Suddenly a Work in Progress

February 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Hollywood Sign, February 12, 2010/Hope Anderson Productions

The effort to cover the Hollywood Sign with letters reading “Save the Peak” has taken two full days and isn’t done yet. By the end of yesterday, it read “SALLYWOOD”–as a friend said, who wouldn’t want to live in Sallywood?–while tonight it reads “SAVE the PEOK.”

Photo Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library, Security Pacific Collection

Ironically, the illegal alterings of the Sign in decades past were all accomplished overnight.

The example above was fairly simple to execute, but the CAL TECH re-rendering of the Sign in 1987–which apparently involved large-scale sewing and grommets–was not. (Then again, the pranksters went to Cal Tech.)



Link to My Short Film, “A History of the Hollywood Sign, 1923-2009”

February 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

For those who are interested, this is the piece that was shown at the Art Institute of California-Hollywood last fall. It appears in two parts on my YouTube channel.

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