For better or worse, the Hollywood sign in the hills overlooking Tinseltown has long been a globally-recognized symbol of the of the place where movies are made and stars are born. But as iconic as it is, the sign didn't always say "Hollywood" — nor did it always symbolize the glitz, glamour, and grittiness of the film industry's world capital.
According to Los Angeles magazine, the sign originated as a rather extravagant billboard advertisement for a secluded real estate development called Holly Tract. The sign was originally illuminated and stayed so for about a decade, until new owners decided keeping it lit was too expensive.
The sign fell into disrepair, which included letters that kept falling over, until the 1970s, when it was labeled a historical-cultural monument. But in 1978, a storm severely damaged the sign. In 1978, the sign was rebuilt, and in November of that year, the sign in its current form was unveiled.