Hollywood sign receives a rigorous restoration prior to its 90th anniversary

Dec 07, 2012 12:31 am

Skift Take

The Hollywood icon is as important to inspiring tourism in California as any media campaign. Images help tourists imagine a destination and prompts them to eventual book that trip.

— Samantha Shankman

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Bobby Gibbons  /

Welcome to Hollywood. Bobby Gibbons /

The world’s most famous sign has had a makeover.

The letters spelling out HOLLYWOOD, high above the traditional home of the film industry, have been buffed, polished and are ready for their close up after undergoing their most extensive refurbishment in nearly 35 years.

The 43ft tall sign spent nine weeks preparing for its 90th birthday and is now so white it sparkles from its setting in the Los Angeles hills.

Each letter was stripped, primed against rust and corrosion and coated in highly glossy white paint – 255 gallons of it in total.

The Hollywood sign is arguably more famous than the stars that live and work below it. Built by Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler and erected, complete with 20 watt light bulbs, in 1923, the billboard initially said “Hollywoodland”, and referred to a real estate development beneath it.

The recent refurbishment work was part of a public-private partnership between The Hollywood Sign Trust and Sherwin-Williams Paint Stores.

The sign is one of the first images conjured up by travellers hoping to visit Hollywood. Telegraph Travel’s expert to Los Angeles, Lucie Young, recommends combining a visit to the Griffith Observatory with a trip to Hollywood .

The magnificent art deco observatory sits high above the city near the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park.

Other attractions she recommends include the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a spiralling metal jewel-like buildings designed by America’s most popular contemporary architect, Frank Gehry; the art gallery MOCA and Universal Studios, with its award winning King Kong 3D experience created by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson

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