November 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
I’ve been immersed in a weeks-long repainting of my house’s interior, an ordeal I wouldn’t recommend if it weren’t necessary. Tomorrow the final phase begins: the repainting of the woodwork in my living room/office, so today I began the arduous process of clearing out all the cabinets. That’s when I found these two photos which were sent to me by Raiden Peterson, who I interviewed in 2007 my documentary Under the Hollywood Sign . (The documentary is available for sale on DVD at underthehollywoodsign.com and as a download for sale or rent from https://vimeo.com/ondemand/uths)
Raiden Peterson supervised the tear-down and reconstruction of the Hollywood Sign for Pacific Outdoor Electric, and documented his work throughout the process. The first photo was taken on August 7, 1978, the day before demolition began. The second was taken soon after the new Sign was completed on October 30, 1978. Thirty-six years later, many–perhaps the majority–of the visitors to the Hollywood Sign have no idea that the current Sign is not the original. These photos tell the story.
September 6, 2011 § 3 Comments
For a monument popularly known as “our Eiffel Tower,” the Hollywood Sign is the object of a surprising amount of misinformation, as well as outright lies. The Internet, of course, has been a great transmitter of these untruths. I’m not just talking about random erroneous posts, such as some of those by viewers of my YouTube channel, but official sources. For example, Chris Baumgart, Chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, told me in our 2006 interview that the current Hollywood Sign was a replica of the old one in every aspect but one–the height of the letters, which he said were five feet shorter than the originals. Though it sounded logical, it wasn’t true. My later interview with Raiden Peterson, who supervised the Sign’s reconstruction for Pacific Outdoor Electric, confirmed that the new letters were exact replicas of the old, standing 45 feet. “I measured every piece,” Peterson said.
For the rest of this article, please see my new eBook, “Peg Entwistle and The Hollywood Sign,” which will be available from online booksellers in September 2013.
February 27, 2010 § Leave a comment
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.