You are on page 1of 12

Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hollywood is a district in Los Angeles, California, situated west-northwest of Downtown


Los Angeles.[1] Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie
studios and movie stars, the word "Hollywood" is often used as a metonym for the
cinema of the United States. Today much of the movie industry has dispersed into
surrounding areas such as Burbank and the Los Angeles Westside[2] but significant
auxiliary industries, such as editing, effects, props, post-production and lighting
companies, remain in Hollywood.

Many historic Hollywood theaters are used as venues and concert stages to premiere
major theatrical releases and host the Academy Awards. It is a popular destination for
nightlife and tourism and home to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Although it is not the typical practice of the city of Los Angeles to establish specific
boundaries for districts or neighborhoods, Hollywood is a recent exception. On February
16, 2005, Assembly Members Goldberg and Koretz introduced a bill to require California
to keep specific records on Hollywood as though it were independent. For this to be
done, the boundaries were defined. This bill was unanimously supported by the
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the LA City Council. Assembly Bill 588 was
approved by the Governor on August 28, 2006 and now the district of Hollywood has
official borders. The border is shown at the right and can be loosely described as the
area east of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, south of Mulholland Drive, Laurel
Canyon, Cahuenga Blvd. and Barham Blvd. and the cities of Burbank and Glendale,
north of Melrose Avenue and west of the Golden State Freeway and Hyperion Avenue.
Note that this includes all of Griffith Park and Los Feliz—two areas that were hitherto
generally considered separate from Hollywood by most Angelenos. The population of
the district, including Los Feliz, as of the 2000 census was 167,664 and the median
household income was $33,409 in 1999.[3]

1
As a portion of the city of Los Angeles, Hollywood does not have its own municipal
government, but does have an official, appointed by the Hollywood Chamber of
Commerce, who serves as "Honorary Mayor of Hollywood" for ceremonial purposes
only. Johnny Grant held this position for decades, until his death on January 9, 2008.[4][5]

History

In 1853, one adobe hut stood on the site that became Hollywood. By 1870, an
agricultural community flourished in the area with thriving crops. A locally popular
etymology is that the name "Hollywood" traces to the ample stands of native Toyon or
"California Holly", that cover the hillsides with clusters of bright red berries each winter.
But this and accounts of the name coming from imported holly then growing in the area,
are not confirmed. The name Hollywood was coined by H. J. Whitley,[6] the Father of
Hollywood. He and his wife, Gigi, came up with the name while on their honeymoon,
according to Margaret Virginia Whitley's memoir.[6] Another story refers the name to
Harvey Wilcox, who bought land in the area for development of homes. His wife,
Daeida, met a woman on a train who mentioned that she had named her Ohio summer
home Hollywood. Daeide, who liked the name, gave it to their new development. The
name first appeared on the Wilcox's map of the subdivision, filed with the county
recorder on February 1, 1887.[7]

According to Jordan Maxwell, the name "Hollywood" is a reference to Druidic magic


wands - both the wands and the Hollywood film industry being used to manipulate
people.[citation needed]

By 1900, the community then called Cahuenga had a post office, newspaper, hotel and
two markets, along with a population of 500. LA, with a population of 100,000 people at
the time, lay 7 miles east through the citrus groves. A single-track streetcar line ran
down the middle of Prospect Avenue from it, but service was infrequent and the trip took
two hours. The old citrus fruit packing house would be converted into a livery stable,
improving transportation for the inhabitants of Hollywood.

2
The first section of the famous Hollywood Hotel, the first major hotel in Hollywood, was
opened in 1902, by H. J. Whitley, eager to sell residential lots among the lemon ranches
then lining the foothills. Flanking the west side of Highland Avenue, the structure fronted
on Prospect Avenue. Still a dusty, unpaved road, it was regularly graded and graveled.

Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality in 1903. Among the town ordinances was
one prohibiting the sale of liquor except by pharmacists and one outlawing the driving of
cattle through the streets in herds of more than two hundred. In 1904, a new trolley car
track running from Los Angeles to Hollywood up Prospect Avenue was opened. The
system was called "the Hollywood Boulevard." It cut travel time to and from Los Angeles
drastically.

By 1910, because of an ongoing struggle to secure an adequate water supply, the


townsmen voted for Hollywood to be annexed into the City of Los Angeles, as the water
system of the growing city had opened the Los Angeles Aqueduct and was piping water
down from the Owens River in the Owens Valley. Another reason for the vote was that
Hollywood could have access to drainage through Los Angeles´ sewer system.

With annexation, the name of Prospect Avenue was changed to Hollywood Boulevard
and all the street numbers in the new district changed. For example, 100 Prospect
Avenue, at Vermont Avenue, became 6400 Hollywood Boulevard; and 100 Cahuenga
Boulevard, at Hollywood Boulevard, changed to 1700 Cahuenga Boulevard.

Hollywood and the motion picture industry

In early 1910, director D. W. Griffith was sent by the Biograph Company to the west
coast with his troupe, consisting of actors Blanche Sweet, Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford,
Lionel Barrymore and others. They started filming on a vacant lot in downtown Los
Angeles. The Company decided to explore new territories and traveled 5 miles north to
the little village Hollywood, which was friendly and enjoyed the movie company filming
there. Griffith then filmed the first movie ever shot in Hollywood called In Old California,
a Biograph melodrama about Latino-Mexican occupied California in the 1800s. The
movie company stayed there for months and made several films before returning to New

3
York. After hearing about this wonderful place, in 1913 many movie-makers headed
west. The first feature film made in Hollywood, in 1914, was called "The Squaw Man",
directed by Cecil B. DeMille. All the films made in Los Angeles from 1908 to 1913 were
short subjects. With this film, the Hollywood movie industry was "born."

Through the First World War, it became the movie capital of the world. The oldest
company still existing in Hollywood today was founded by William Horsley of Gower
Gulch-based Nestor and Centaur films, who went on to create the Hollywood Film
Laboratory, which is now called the Hollywood Digital Laboratory.

Modern Hollywood

On January 22, 1947, the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi
River, KTLA, began operating in Hollywood. In December of that year, the first
Hollywood movie production was made for TV, The Public Prosecutor. And in the 1950s,
music recording studios and offices began moving into Hollywood. Other businesses,
however, continued to migrate to different parts of the Los Angeles area, primarily to
Burbank. Much of the movie industry remained in Hollywood, although the district's
outward appearance changed.

In 1952, CBS built CBS Television City on the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly
Boulevard, on the former site of Gilmore Stadium. CBS's expansion into the Fairfax
District pushed the unofficial boundary of Hollywood further south than it had been.
CBS's slogan for the shows taped there was "From Television City in Hollywood..."

During the early 50's the famous Hollywood Freeway was constructed from The Stack
interchange in downtown Los Angeles, past the Hollywood Bowl, up through Cahuenga
Pass and into the San Fernando Valley. In the early days, streetcars ran up through the
pass, on rails running along the central reservation of the highway.

The famous Capitol Records building on Vine St. just north of Hollywood Boulevard was
built in 1956. It is a recording studio not open to the public, but its unique circular design
looks like a stack of 7-inch vinyl records.

4
The now derelict lot at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Serrano Avenue was
once the site of the illustrious Hollywood Professional School, whose alumni reads like a
Hollywood Who's Who of household "names". Many of these former child stars attended
a "farewell" party at the commemorative sealing of a time capsule buried on the lot.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame was created in 1958 and the first star was placed in 1960
as a tribute to artists working in the entertainment industry. Honorees receive a star
based on career and lifetime achievements in motion pictures, live theatre, radio,
television, and or music, as well as their charitable and civic contributions.

In 1985, the Hollywood Boulevard Commercial and Entertainment District was officially
listed in the National Register of Historic Places protecting important buildings and
ensuring that the significance of Hollywood's past would always be a part of its future.

In June 1999, the long-awaited Hollywood extension of the Los Angeles County Metro
Rail Red Line subway opened, running from Downtown Los Angeles to the Valley, with
stops along Hollywood Boulevard at Western Avenue, Vine Street and Highland
Avenue.

The Kodak Theatre, which opened in 2001 on Hollywood Boulevard at Highland


Avenue, where the historic Hollywood Hotel once stood, has become the new home of
the Oscars.

While motion picture production still occurs within the Hollywood district, most major
studios are actually located elsewhere in the Los Angeles region. Paramount Studios is
the only major studio still physically located within Hollywood. Other studios in the
district include the aforementioned Jim Henson (formerly Chaplin) Studios, Sunset
Gower Studios, and Raleigh Studios.

While Hollywood and the adjacent neighborhood of Los Feliz served as the initial homes
for all of the early television stations in the Los Angeles market, most have now
relocated to other locations within the metropolitan area. KNBC began this exodus in
1962, when it moved to from the former NBC Radio City Studios located at the northeast

5
corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street to NBC Studios in Burbank. KTTV pulled up
stakes in 1996 from its former home at Metromedia Square in the 5700 block of Sunset
Boulevard to relocate to Bundy Drive in West Los Angeles. KABC-TV moved from its
original location at ABC Television Center (now branded The Prospect Studios) just east
of Hollywood to Glendale in 2000, though the Los Angeles bureau of ABC News still
resides at Prospect. After being purchased by 20th Century Fox in 2001, KCOP left its
former home in the 900 block of North La Brea Avenue to join KTTV on the Fox lot. The
CBS Corporation-owned duopoly of KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV moved from its longtime
home at CBS Columbia Square in the 6100 block of Sunset Boulevard to a new facility
at CBS Studio Center in Studio City. KTLA, located in the 5800 block of Sunset
Boulevard, and KCET, in the 4400 block of Sunset Boulevard, are the last television
stations with Hollywood addresses.

Additionally, Hollywood once served as the home of nearly every radio station in Los
Angeles, all of which have now moved into other communities. KNX was the last station
to broadcast from Hollywood, when it left CBS Columbia Square for a studio in the
Miracle Mile in 2005.

In 2002, a number of Hollywood citizens began a campaign for the district to secede
from Los Angeles and become, as it had been a century earlier, its own incorporated
municipality. Secession supporters argued that the needs of their community were being
ignored by the leaders of Los Angeles. In June of that year, the Los Angeles County
Board of Supervisors placed secession referendums for both, Hollywood and the Valley,
on the ballots for a "citywide election." To pass, they required the approval of a majority
of voters in the proposed new municipality as well as a majority of voters in all of Los
Angeles. In the November election, both referendums failed by wide margins in the
citywide vote.

Hollywood history books

• Nudelman, Robert & Wanamaker, Marc. (2005) Historic Hollywood: An Illustrated


History (Hardcover), Texas: Historical Pub Network. (ISBN 978-1893619463)

6
• R. Jezek, George & Wanamaker, Marc. (2003) Hollywood: Now and Then
(Hardcover), California: George Ross Jezek Photography & Publishing. (ISBN
978-0970103611)
• Gaelyn Whitley Keith. (2006) The Father of Hollywood: The True Story
(Hardcover), Book Surge, An Amazon.com Company. (ISBN 1-4196-5387-3)
• Gregory Paul Williams. (2005) The Story of Hollywood: An Illustrated History
(Hardcover), BL Press LLC. (ISBN 0-9776299-0-2)

Runaways

One feature for Hollywood since the 1960s has been its attractiveness for desperate
runaways. Every year, hundreds of runaway adolescents leave their homes across
North America and the world and flock to Hollywood hoping to become movie stars, as
portrayed by the lyrics of the 1960s Burt Bacharach song "Do You Know the Way to San
Jose" whose lyrics include the words: "All the stars / That never were / Are parking cars /
And pumping gas." Such individuals soon discover that they have extremely slim
chances of competing against professionally trained actors. Many of them end up
sinking into homelessness, which is a problem in Hollywood for adults as well as youth.

Some return home, while others linger in Hollywood and join the prostitutes and
panhandlers lining its boulevards; others go to Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles; and
yet others end up in the large pornography industry in the San Fernando Valley. This
side of Hollywood was portrayed in Jackson Browne's 1980 song, "Boulevard", whose
lyrics include reference to a notorious hustler hangout of the 1970s, with the words:
"Down at the Golden Cup / They set the young ones up / Under the neon lights / Selling
day for night." This phenomenon is also portrayed in the books of Charles Bukowski.

Revitalization

After many years of serious decline, Hollywood is now undergoing rapid gentrification
and revitalization with the goal of urban density in mind. Many new developments have
been completed, and many more are planned, and several are centered on Hollywood
Boulevard itself. In particular, the Hollywood & Highland complex, which is also the site

7
of the Kodak Theater, has been a major catalyst for the redevelopment of the area. In
addition, numerous trendy bars, clubs, and retail businesses have opened on or
surrounding the boulevard, allowing it to become one of the main nighttime spots in all of
Los Angeles. Many older buildings have also been converted to lofts and condominiums,
and a W Hotel is planned at the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine, which will
serve to even further revitalize the area.

Hollywood neighborhoods & communities

• Beachwood Canyon
• Cahuenga Pass
• Hollywood Downtown/Civic area
• Hollywood Hills
o Hollywood Heights
o Laurel Canyon
o Mount Olympus
o Nichols Canyon
o Outpost Estates
o Sunset Hills
• East Hollywood
o Little Armenia
o Thai Town
o Virgil Village
• Melrose District
• Melrose Hill
• Sierra Vista
• Spaulding Square
• Yucca Corridor

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there are 167,664 people in the Hollywood district. The racial
makeup of the neighborhood is 42.82% White (non-Hispanic), 4.48% African American,

8
0.68% Native American, 8.98% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 22.23% from other races,
and 6.76% from two or more races. 39.43% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of
any race. The income per capita was estimated at $26,119, putting it ahead of Burbank,
California, and about the same as Arcadia, California.

Notable Residents

• Andrew Reynolds - Professional skateboarder lives here with his wife and
daughter.
• Eric Koston - Professional skateboarder
• Erik Ellington - Professional skateboarder
• Kevin Maistros - Film Director

Education

Students who live in Hollywood are zoned to schools in the Los Angeles Unified School
District.

Elementary schools:

• Vine Street Elementary School


• Ramona Elementary School
• Gardner Elementary School
• Valley View Elementary School
• Cheremoya Elementary School

Middle schools:

• Bancroft Middle School


• Le Conte Middle School
• Taylor Middle School

Hollywood High School is the sole zoned public high school in Hollywood.

9
Christ the King Elementary School is a private school in the area.

For many years, the motion picture Industry had its own private Industry-run institution
for child actors, the Hollywood Professional School.

Frances Howard Goldwyn – Hollywood Regional Branch of the Los Angeles Public
Library is in Hollywood.

Landmarks and interesting spots

• Amoeba Music
• Barnsdall Park
• Blondie Park
• Blessed Sacrament Church
• Bob Hope Square (Hollywood and Vine)
• Capitol Records
• CBS Columbia Square
• CeFiore
• Charlie Chaplin Studios
• Cinerama Dome
• Crossroads of the World
• El Capitan Theatre
• Frederick's of Hollywood
• Frolic Room
• Gower Gulch
• Grauman's Chinese Theatre
• Grauman's Egyptian Theatre
• Griffith Observatory
• Griffith Park
• Hollywood Athletic Club
• Hollywood Bowl
• Hollywood Forever Cemetery
• Hollywood and Highland

10
• Hollywood Heritage Museum
• Hollywood High School
• Hollywood Palace Theatre
• Hollywood Palladium
• Roosevelt Hotel
• Hollywood Sign
• Hollywood Walk of Fame
• Hollywood Wax Museum
• Janes House
• The Jester Comedy Club
• KCBS-TV
• KCET
• Knickerbocker Hotel
• Kodak Theatre
• KTLA-TV
• Lake Hollywood
• Lasky-DeMille Barn
• The Laugh Factory
• The Magic Castle
• Masonic Temple
• Max Factor Building
• Musso & Frank Grill
• Pantages Theatre
• Paramount Studios
• Pig 'N Whistle
• Pink's Hot Dogs
• The Prospect Studios (ABC Television Center)
• Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium
• Rock 'n' Roll Ralphs
• Rock Walk
• Runyon Canyon Park

11
• Shrine Auditorium
• Sunset and Vine apartment complex
• Sunset Gower Studios
• The Taylor Hughes Shrine
• Yamashiro Restaurant

Special events

• Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade: The 2006 parade on Nov 26th, was the
75th edition of the Christmas Parade. The parade goes down Hollywood
Boulevard and is broadcast in the LA area on KTLA, and around the United
States on Tribune-owned stations and the WGN superstation. [3]
• CINECON Classic Film Festival & Exposition (Annual timing is five days --
connected to Labor Day weekend) Classic film memorabilia, expert
presentations, author signings, and movie screenings with celebrity guests.

Wedding Banquet / Dinner Private Party Corporate Event PR / Marketing Event Meeting
Conference Convention Stage Performance

12

Related Interests