Fact Check

Did the Hollywood Sign Once Say 'Hollywoodland'?

"Hooray for Hollywoodland" just doesn't have the same ring.

Published Aug 5, 2022

LOS ANGELES - CIRCA 1925:  A view of the Hollywoodland  sign erected to advertize a new housing developement, circa 1925 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) (Getty Images)
Image Via Getty Images
The iconic Hollywood sign once read "Hollywoodland."

Fact Check

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.

When the sign originally went up in 1923, it said "Hollywoodland," as is visible in old photographs and historical accounts. It remained so until 1949, when "land" was removed.

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.


Martin, Brittany. "How the Hollywood Sign Became L.A.’s Most Famous Landmark." Los Angeles Magazine, 6 Nov. 2018. https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/hollywood-sign-restoration/

"The Saga of the Sign." The Hollywood Sign Trust. 2018. https://assets.website-files.com/6203f1403d8a6b593d5af548/62042e9deb08387689499160_Hollywood-Sign-Brochure-FINAL_102918.pdf

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

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