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Hollywood Sign’s 90th Anniversary to be Celebrated at Two Events

July 22, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Hollywood’s biggest star, the Hollywood Sign, is turning 90 years old – another odds-defying milestone for the former real estate billboard that went on to become one of the world’s most recognizable and evocative icons.

To celebrate the Sign’s star-studded history, the Hollywood Sign Trust and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce are planning anniversary bashes that will be held in August and September.gI_132499_full Hollywood Sign smaller

In keeping with the Sign’s status as the global icon of the motion picture industry, the first event, a screening of Harold Lloyd’s famous film, Safety Last (which is also celebrating its 90th anniversary) will start at sundown on August 9 at “Oscar Outdoors,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ open-air venue in Hollywood. The program will include a montage of Hollywood Sign cameos in films over the years.

Sponsored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the second celebration will be held from 5-8 p.m. on September 19, at Hollywood’s newest hotspot, Drai’s Hollywood. Guests will party in true Hollywood fashion on the rooftop of the W Hotel, with the Sign itself serving as a spectacular backdrop.

“When the Hollywood Sign was built in 1923 it was an electric billboard advertising real estate – not the famous monument to the entertainment industry it has become. The exact date that billboard was completed was not recorded, so we are taking this opportunity to celebrate its 90th birth year on multiple occasions,” said Chris Baumgart, chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, the organization responsible for preserving the Sign and maintaining its image as the global symbol of the entertainment industry. “Together with the Hollywood Chamber, we are hosting a series of celebrations for everyone to enjoy, focusing on the Sign’s importance to the film and entertainment industry, her fans and, of course, Hollywood.”

A Checkered and Star-Studded History: When the Sign was erected in 1923 by the Hollywoodland Real Estate Group, it was slated to last only a year and a half; but it quickly became the definitive image of “Hollywood” — the town, the industry, and the idea, all of which were just beginning to unfold.

Despite being named an official Los Angeles Cultural Historical Monument in 1973, the Sign had fallen into total disrepair by the time it was 50. In 1978 Playboy founder Hugh Hefner hosted a benefit to restore the Sign and several prominent members of the Hollywood community sponsored the refurbishing, one letter at a time. (Alice Cooper footed the bill for an “O,” while Gene Autry sponsored an “L”). Thanks to the help of these and other donors, a shiny new metal Hollywood Sign was unveiled in 1978.

In 2010 Hugh Hefner came to the rescue of the Sign for the second time when he, along with The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, philanthropist Aileen Getty and thousands of fans, donated funds to purchase the land to the west of the Sign and protect its stunning view.

And in 2012 Sherwin-Williams, the City of Los Angeles and the Trust joined together to give the biggest star in Tinseltown a major facelift, the most extensive refurbishing effort of its kind in nearly 35 years.

“Celebrating the Hollywood Sign’s 90th anniversary is as much of a celebration of Hollywood as it is of the Sign,” said Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. “It allows us to look back on how far Hollywood and the Sign have come – and how much more we can accomplish.”

To purchase tickets and learn more about the “Oscars Outdoors” screening on August 9, visit

For information regarding sponsorship for the 90th Anniversary gala at Drai’s on September 19, email kaylee(at)hollywoodchamber(dot)net.

To obtain press credentials for both events, contact: Betsy Isroelit, 213.300.0108, betsy(at)rbicom(dot)com

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