“Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” — Marilyn Monroe, American Actress, Model and Singer —
When Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler constructed a massive sign advertising his new upscale real estate development called Hollywoodland, he never could have predicted that his cheap marketing ploy would become an iconic emblem for aspirational artists around the world. Today is the 96th anniversary of the sign’s official dedication, when it originally read as “Hollywoodland”, intended by Chandler and his fellow developers to stand for only 18 months. After a 1949 renovation — the first of many — the last four letters of the sign were removed, though wear and tear caused extensive damage and deterioration over the next few decades until Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner stepped in, recruiting nine donors to restore the sign to its original glory in 1978. Nearly a century later, the Hollywood sign is still glowing in the hills above Los Angeles — a beacon to the artists grinding away in the city’s industries.