The Nighttime Magnetism of the Hollywood Sign

November 6, 2010 § 1 Comment

The Hollywood Sign and Communications Tower at Sunset/Photos by Hope Anderson Productions

Even unlit, the Hollywood Sign can be seen at night from Hollywoodland, the neighborhood that is its home. The Sign’s whiteness reflects light, whether natural (from the moon) or electric (from the ranger station and communications tower above it).  At times it glows, an alabaster sculpture against the dark chaparral. For those who live near it, the Sign is visible day and night, except on those rare rainy days when it’s shrouded in fog.

When I moved to Beachwood five years ago, the Sign was being repainted, and its renewed whiteness struck me as an omen for my new life. On one of my first nights in my house, I was amused to hear a child yelling, “Hello, Hollywood Sign!” outside. 

As I soon learned, the Sign affects adults in much the same way: they want to know it, and knowledge demands proximity. Hollywoodlanders who live high in the Canyon report a steady stream of nighttime visitors, particularly in summer. The Sign’s inaccessiblity–it is fenced from the back and heavily alarmed–dissuades few from getting as close as possible, even if it means going on foot, either legally, up the steep fire road, or illegally, to its front.

The Sign from Behind the Fence

I like to hike up the fire road with my dog in the late afternoon. It takes us about an hour to make the round trip, and in winter we sometimes have to hurry against nightfall. The road cuts through parkland and gets dark very quickly after sunset; there are coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions in the area. Yet I’ve never not passed someone going up as I was making my way down.

Early in 2007, Tjardus Greidanus, the DP on my documentary,  “Under the Hollywood Sign,” was shooting b-roll before dawn when he saw a man heading up toward the Sign, a bottle of wine in hand. There was no doubt of the man’s intent: a libational greeting of the new day, at the epicenter of new beginnings.

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

§ One Response to The Nighttime Magnetism of the Hollywood Sign

  • […] https://underthehollywoodsign.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/the-nighttime-magnetism-of-the-hollywood-sign/ Advertisement LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_border", "eeeeee"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_text", "222222"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_link", "000000"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_url", "ff9900"); LD_AddCustomAttr("LangId", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "entertainment"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "movies"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "books"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "under-the-hollywood-sign"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "actors"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "beachwood-canyon"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "documentaries"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "filmmaking"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "hollywood"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "hollywood-sign"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "hollywoodland-beachwood-canyon-2"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "peg-entwistle"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "silent-era"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "1932"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "chris-baumgart"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "great-depression"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "hollywood-sign"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "hollywood-sign-trust"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "hollywoodland-sign"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "peg-entwistle"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "raiden-peterson"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "suicide"); LD_AddSlot("wpcom_below_post"); LD_GetBids(); Share this:StumbleUponDiggRedditTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading The Nighttime Magnetism of the Hollywood Sign at Under the Hollywood Sign.

meta

%d bloggers like this: