Newly Repainted, the Hollywood Sign Stars in a Time-Lapse Video

December 10, 2012 § 2 Comments

The Newly Repainted Hollywood Sign 12/10/12/Hope Anderson Productions

The Newly Repainted Hollywood Sign 12/10/12/Hope Anderson Productions

The Hollywood Sign’s big paint job is done; the result is a monument so pristine that the letters seem slightly larger (or perhaps closer) than they did before. The painters did a great job and finished ahead of schedule by more a week.

I’m grateful to Shawn Sites for alerting me to this excellent video produced by Sherwin-Williams and the Hollywood Sign Trust. It shows the job from start to finish, along with some breathtaking views of Los Angeles:

The Hollywood Sign’s Renovation, Week Six: Painting the Y

November 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Hollywood Sign at Midday, 11/9/12/Hope Anderson Productions

Yesterday it rained; today, along with sunshine, there is a beautiful bank of clouds behind the Hollywood Sign instead of the usual cloudless blue sky. The painters have reached the Y which, some will remember, is the letter Hugh Hefner chose to pay for when Sign was rebuilt in 1978.

Without Hugh Hefner’s fundraising efforts, the Hollywood Sign would not exist today. In 1978, the original 1923 Sign was in ruins, and no one else seemed particularly concerned about its fate. It took someone of Hefner’s stature to draw attention to the eyesore on Mt. Lee and do something about it.

In the decades since, the Hollywood Sign has become a huge tourist draw, creating headaches for those of us who live near it. Nevertheless, it would be hard to find anyone here who doesn’t enjoy looking at the Sign. Whether we regard it as a historical monument, a mascot and or a navigational device, Hollywoodlanders love the Hollywood Sign as much as tourists do, and–because it began as our neighborhood’s billboard–perhaps a little more.

The Hollywood Sign’s Big Facelift, and GPS Whac-A-Mole

October 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Hollywood Sign on Sept. 21, 2012/Hope Anderson Productions

Today marks the beginning of a major renovation of the Hollywood Sign, the most extensive in the 34 years since it was rebuilt. The Sign will be stripped of paint, pressure-washed and repainted, a process that will take 10 weeks.

It needs it. When I was up there being filmed (legally!) in June*, I was struck by its weathered condition, most of it the result of graffiti and attempts to paint over it.

In other Hollywood Sign news, Hollywoodland residents have been dismayed to find that Apple Maps–for all its mistakes–directs tourists up the very streets that have been the scene of total gridlock and collisions. The situation had been getting better, thanks to the efforts of individuals and homeowners’ groups to persuade Google, Mapquest and other GPS providers to feature other, safer routes toward the Sign. Along comes the iPhone 5 and the software update for other Apple phones to undo all of that. While no one who lives near the Sign wants to deprive people of a photo opportunity, this residential neighborhood of narrow streets and blind curves is not the place for it. Having narrowly escaped several head-on collisions with cars driven by non-residents, I can only hope that Apple will respond to our pleas and do something. Our safety depends on it.


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