The Hollywood Sign (formerly known as the Hollywoodland Sign) is a landmark and American cultural icon located in Los Angeles, California. It is situated on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains. The sign overlooks the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. "HOLLYWOOD" is spelled out in 45-foot-tall (14 m) and 350-foot-long (110 m) white capital letters. It was originally created as an advertisement for local real estate development in 1923, but garnered increasing recognition after the sign was left up. The sign was a frequent target of pranks and vandalism but has since undergone restoration, including the installation of a security system to deter vandalism. The sign is protected and promoted by the Hollywood Sign Trust, a nonprofit organization.
From the ground, the contours of the hills give the sign its "wavy" appearance, as reflected in the Hollywood Video logo, for example. When observed at a comparable altitude, as in the photo shown on the right, the letters appear nearly level.
The sign makes frequent appearances in popular culture, particularly in establishing shots for films and television programs set in or around Hollywood. Signs of similar style, but spelling different words, are frequently seen as parodies.
Hollywood is a district situated in Los Angeles, California, United States situated west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and celebrities, the word Hollywood is often used as a metonym of American cinema. Even though much of the movie industry has dispersed into surrounding areas such as West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, significant auxiliary industries, such as editing, effects, props, post-production, and lighting companies remain in Hollywood, as does the backlot of Paramount Pictures.
As a district within the Los Angeles city limits, Hollywood does not have its own municipal government. There was an official, appointed by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, who served as an honorary "Mayor of Hollywood" for ceremonial purposes only. Johnny Grant held this position from 1980 until his death on January 9, 2008.