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.
In 1853, one adobe hut stood in Nopalera (Nopal area), named for the Mexican Nopal cactus indigenous to the area. By 1870, an agricultural community flourished in the area with thriving crops of many common and exotic varieties. The area was known to these residents as the Cahuenga Valley, after the pass in the Santa Monica Mountains immediately to the north. Soon thereafter, land speculation led to subdivision of the large plots and an influx of homeowners.
In spite of the area's short history, it has been filled with events driven by optimistic progress. The name Hollywood was coined by H. J. Whitley, the "Father of Hollywood". Whitley arranged to buy the 500-acre (2.0 km2) E.C. Hurd ranch and disclosed to him his plans for the land. They agreed on a price and Hurd agreed to sell at a later date. Before Whitley got off the ground with Hollywood, plans for the new town had spread to General Harrison Gray Otis, Mr Hurd's wife, Mrs. Daeida Wilcox, and numerous others through the mill of gossip and land speculation.
Daeida learned of the name Hollywood from Ivar Weid, her neighbor in Holly Canyon (now Lake Hollywood) and a prominent investor and friend of Whitley's. She recommended the same name to her husband, H. H. Wilcox. On February 1, 1887, Harvey filed a deed and map of property he sold with the Los Angeles County Recorder's office. Harvey wanted to be the first to record it on a deed. The early real-estate boom busted that same year, yet Hollywood began its slow growth.
By 1900, the region had a post office, newspaper, hotel, and two markets. Los Angeles, with a population of 102,479 lay 10 miles (16 km) east through the vineyards, barley fields, and 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.
The famous Hollywood Hotel, the first major hotel in Hollywood, was opened in 1902, by H. J. Whitley, then President of the Los Pacific Boulevard and Development Company, of which he was a major shareholder. Having finally acquired the Hurd ranch and subdivided it, Whitley built the hotel to attract land buyers, and was eager to sell these residential lots among the lemon ranches lining the foothills. Flanking the west side of Highland Avenue, the structure fronted on Prospect Avenue, which, still a dusty, unpaved road, was regularly graded and graveled. The Hotel was to become internationally known and was the center of the civic and social life and home of the stars for many years. His company was developing and selling one of the early residential areas, the Ocean View Tract. Whitley did much to promote the area. He paid many thousands of dollars for electric lighting, including bringing electricity and building a bank, as well as a road into the Cahuenga Pass. The lighting ran for several blocks down Prospect Avenue. Whitley's land was centered on Highland Avenue.
Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality on November 14, 1903. The vote was 88 for incorporation and 77 against. On January 30, 1904, the voters in Hollywood decided, by a vote of 113 to 96, for the banishment of liquor in the city, except when it was being sold for medicinal purposes. Neither hotels nor restaurants were allowed to serve wine or liquor before or after meals.
By 1910, because of an ongoing struggle to secure an adequate water supply, town officials 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.
Motion picture industry
The film patent wars of the early 20th century led to the spread of film companies across the U.S. Many worked with equipment for which they did not own the rights, and thus filming in New York could be dangerous; it was close to Edison's Company headquarters, and agents of the company set out to seize cameras. By 1912, most major film companies had set up production facilities in Southern California near or in Los Angeles because of the location's proximity to Mexico, as well as the region's favorable year-round weather.
The Biograph Company filmed the short film A Daring Hold-Up in Southern California in Los Angeles in 1906. The first studio in the Los Angeles area was established by the Selig Polyscope Company in Edendale, with construction beginning in August 1909.
Prolific director D. W. Griffith was the first to make a motion picture in Hollywood. His 17-minute short film In Old California, which was released on March 10, 1910, was filmed entirely in the village of Hollywood for the Biograph Company. Although Hollywood banned movie theaters—of which it had none—before annexation that year, Los Angeles had no such restriction. The first film by a Hollywood Studio, Nestor Motion Picture Company, was shot on October 26, 1911. The Whitley home was used as its set, and the unnamed movie was filmed in the middle of their groves on the corner of Whitley Ave and Hollywood Boulevard by directors Al Christie and David and William Horsley.
Various producers and filmmakers moved bases from the east coast to escape punitive licensing from the Motion Picture Patents Company.
The first studio in Hollywood was established by the New Jersey–based Centaur Co., which wanted to make westerns in California. They rented an unused roadhouse at 6121 Sunset Boulevard at the corner of Gower, and converted it into a movie studio in October 1911, calling it Nestor Studio after the name of the western branch of their company. The first feature film made specifically in a Hollywood studio, in 1914, was The Squaw Man, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel, and was filmed at the Lasky-DeMille Barn among other area locations.
Four major film companies – Paramount, Warner Bros., RKO and Columbia – had studios in Hollywood, as did several minor companies and rental studios. Hollywood had begun its dramatic transformation from sleepy suburb to movie production capital. The residential and agrarian Hollywood Boulevard of 1910 was virtually unrecognizable by 1920 as the new commercial and retail sector replaced it. The sleepy town was no more, and, to the chagrin of many original residents, the boom town could not be stopped.
By 1920, Hollywood had become world-famous as the center of the United States film industry. In 1918, H. J. Whitley commissioned architect A. S. Barnes to design Whitley Heights as a Mediterranean-style village on the steep hillsides above Hollywood Boulevard, and it became the first celebrity community. The neighborhood is roughly bordered on the north and east by Cahuenga Boulevard, on the west by Highland Avenue, and on the south by Franklin Avenue. Among Whitley Heights' many famous residents have been Rudolph Valentino, Barbara Stanwyck, W.C. Fields, Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, William Powell. Tyrone Power, Gloria Swanson, Rosalind Russell, Judy Garland, and Marlene Dietrich.
From the 1920s to the 1940s, a large percentage of transportation to and from Hollywood was by means of the red cars of the Pacific Electric Railway.
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 Public Prosecutor became the first network television series to be filmed in Hollywood. 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.
During the early 1950s the famous Hollywood Freeway was constructed from the Four Level Interchange 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 through the pass on rails running along the central median.
The Capitol Records Building on Vine Street, just north of Hollywood Boulevard, was built in 1956. The building houses offices and recording studios, which are not open to the public, but its circular design looks like a stack of 7-inch (180 mm) vinyl records.
The now derelict lot at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Serrano Avenue was once the site of the illustrious Hollywood Professional School (1935–1984), 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 as a tribute to artists and other significant contributors within the entertainment industry. Official groundbreaking occurred on February 8, 1960, and the first star to be permanently installed was that of director Stanley Kramer (not Joanne Woodward, as commonly related). Honorees receive a star based on their achievements in motion pictures, live theatre, radio, television, and/or music, as well as their charitable and civic contributions.
During the 1980s, Hollywood was the heart of a new Hard rock movement known as Glam metal. The most known Hollywood glam metal and hard rock bands include Mötley Crüe, Poison, RATT, W.A.S.P, Quiet Riot, Guns N' Roses and Van Halen. These bands were notorious for their debauched and promiscuous lifestyle of late-night parties, drug and alcohol abuse, casual sex and backstage groupie antics. A haven for the pulsating music scene of the time, Hollywood also saw a number of popular bands from different genres emerge, such as Jane's Addiction, Metallica and various others.
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 Hollywood extension of the Los Angeles County Metro Rail Red Line subway opened, running from Downtown Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley, with stops along Hollywood Boulevard at Western Avenue, Vine Street and Highland Avenue.
While motion picture production still occurs within the Hollywood district, most major studios are actually located elsewhere in the Los Angeles region. Paramount Pictures 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 from the former NBC Radio City Studios located at the northeast corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street to NBC Studios in Burbank. KTTV (purchased by FOX) pulled up stakes in 1996 from its former home at Metromedia Square on Sunset Boulevard to relocate to the FOX Studio lot 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 and still serves as an ABC Network studios facility. After being purchased by 20th Century Fox in 2001, KCOP left its former home on 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 on Sunset Boulevard to a new facility at CBS Studio Center in Studio City. KTLA and KCET, both located on Sunset Boulevard, are the last broadcasters (television or radio) with Hollywood addresses. However, KCET has since sold its studios on Sunset and plans to move to another location.
In addition, Hollywood once served as the home of nearly every radio station in Los Angeles, all of which have now moved into other communities, especially Burbank, but a fair number also relocated to Wilshire Center and Miracle Mile district with the latter being home to many TV production companies including Mark Goodson and the E! network. KNX was the last station to broadcast from Hollywood, when it left CBS Columbia Square for a studio in the Miracle Mile in 2005. While Hollywood was home to several foreign-language radio stations, they too moved to many of the same areas as their English language counterparts. In fact, today, not a single L.A. market radio station has operations in Hollywood.
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 San Fernando 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 is served by several neighborhood councils, including the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council (HUNC) and the Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council. These two groups are part of the network of neighborhood councils certified by the City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. Neighborhood Councils cast advisory votes on such issues as zoning, planning, and other community issues. The council members are voted in by stakeholders, generally defined as anyone living, working, owning property, or belonging to an organization within the boundaries of the council.
After years of serious decline, when many Hollywood landmarks were threatened with demolition, Hollywood is now undergoing rapid gentrification and revitalization with the goal of urban density in mind. The Hollywood and Highland complex (site of the Dolby Theater) has been a major catalyst for the redevelopment of the area. In addition, numerous fashionable bars, clubs, hotels, and retail businesses have opened on or near the boulevard, returning Hollywood to a center of nightlife in Los Angeles.
Hollywood neighborhoods and communities
On February 16, 2005, California Assembly Members Jackie Goldberg and Paul Koretz introduced a bill to require California to keep specific records on Hollywood as if it were independent, although it is not the typical practice of the City of Los Angeles to establish specific boundaries for districts or neighborhoods. For this to be done, the boundaries were defined. The bill was unanimously supported by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles City Council. Assembly Bill 588 was approved by the Governor of California on August 28, 2006, and now the district of Hollywood has official borders. The border can be loosely described as the area surrounding West Hollywood to the border of Beverly Hills, south of Mulholland Drive, Laurel Canyon, Cahuenga Boulevard, and Barham Boulevard, and south of the cities of Burbank and Glendale, north of Melrose Avenue and west of the Golden State Freeway and Hyperion Avenue. This includes all of Griffith Park and Los Feliz – two areas that were hitherto considered separate from Hollywood by most Angelenos. The population of the district, including Los Feliz, as of the 2000 census was 123,436 and the median household income was $33,409 in 1999.
As of the 2000 census, there were 210,777 people residing in the Community Plan Area of Hollywood. The population density was 8,443 people per square mile (3,261/km²). The racial makeup of the community was 59.84% White (47.27% White Non-Hispanic), 9.44% Asian, 4.28% Black, 0.62% Native American, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 19.10% from other races, and 6.59% from two or more races. 34.51% of the population were Hispanic of any race. 49.63% of the population was foreign born; of this, 46.24% came from Latin America, 32.73% from Asia, 17.80% from Europe and 3.23% from other parts of the world.
- Cheremoya Elementary School
- Gardner Elementary School
- Grant Elementary School
- Ramona Elementary School
- Selma Ave. Elementary School
- Valley View Elementary School
- Vine Street Elementary School
For many years, the motion picture Industry had its own private Industry-run institution for child actors, the Hollywood Professional School (1935–1984).
The Will and Ariel Durant Branch and the Frances Howard Goldwyn – Hollywood Regional Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library are in Hollywood.
- Barnsdall Art Park
- Capitol Records Tower
- CBS Columbia Square
- Charlie Chaplin Studios
- Cinerama Dome
- Crossroads of the World
- Dolby Theatre
- Earl Carroll Theatre (currently Nickelodeon on Sunset)
- El Capitan Theatre
- Frederick's of Hollywood
- Gibson Amphitheatre
- Gower Gulch
- Grauman's Chinese Theatre
- Grauman's Egyptian Theatre
- Guitar Center
- Hollywood & Western Building
- Hollywood and Highland Center
- Hollywood and Vine
- Hollywood Bowl
- Hollywood Forever Cemetery
- Hollywood Heritage Museum
- Hollywood High School
- Hollywood Palladium
- Hollywood Masonic Temple
- Hollywood Sign
- Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Hollywood Wax Museum
- Knickerbocker Hotel
- Pantages Theatre
- Paramount Pictures
- Roosevelt Hotel
- Runyon Canyon Park
- Sunset Gower Studios
- The Laugh Factory
- The Magic Castle
- The Prospect Studios
- Universal Studios Hollywood
- Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
- Whitley Heights
- The Academy Awards are held in late February/early March (since 2004) of each year, honoring the preceding year in film. Prior to 2004, they were held in late March/early April. Since 2002, the Oscars have been held at their new home at the Kodak Theater at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.
- The annual Hollywood Christmas Parade: The 2006 parade on Nov 26 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.
- List of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments in Hollywood
- 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike
- Cinema of the United States
- Hollywood Walk of Fame
- History of cinema
- List of Hollywood novels
- List of movie-related topics
- List of movies set in Los Angeles
- List of television shows set in Los Angeles
- "LA Almanac". Archived from the original on September 5, 2006. Retrieved May 24, 2007.
- City of Los Angeles Map – Larger View
- "Johnny Grant, honorary Hollywood mayor, dies". CNN. January 10, 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2008.
- Margaret Leslie Davis, Rivers in the Desert (1993), p. 92.
- The Father of Hollywood by Gaelyn Whitley Keith The Father of Holllywood (2010) pg. 127
- The Quarterly, pg 93–94
- No. HS-7. Population of the Largest 75 Cities: 1900 to 2000
- Hollywood Daily Citizen (1931)
- Los Angeles from the mountains to the sea: with selected biography ..., Volume 3 By John Steven McGroarty 1921 pg. 815
- Cahuenga Valley Sentinel (May 7, 1904).
- Hollywood Citizen (Spring Addition March 4, 1914).
- Hollywood California | Hollywood History and Information. Abouthollywood.com (November 16, 2010). Retrieved on 2011-12-11.
- Jacobs, Lewis; Rise of the American film, The; Harcourt Brace, New York, 1930; p. 85
- Niver (1971), p. 262.
- Robertson (2001), p. 21.
- Philip French (February 28, 2010). "How 100 years of Hollywood have charted the history of America". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
- RASMUSSEN, CECILIA (August 1, 1999). "L.A. Then and Now: Film Pioneer Griffith Rode History to Fame". Los Angeles Times. p. 3.
- Dyson, Jonathan (March 4, 2000). "How the West was won Time lapse". The Independent (London (UK)). p. 54.
- Friedrich, Otto (1986). City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940s. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 6. ISBN 0-520-20949-4 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- FOX 40 News(2011)^ FOX 40 News(2011) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLdDLeFbVow&feature=share&list=ULBLdDLeFbVow
- The Father of Hollywood by Gaelyn Whitley Keith (August 31, 2010)www.thefatherofhollywood.com
- Robertson (2001), p. 21. The facility later became the Hollywood Film Laboratory, which is now called the Hollywood Digital Laboratory.
- Feature-length films made in the Los Angeles area before The Squaw Man include From Dusk to Dawn (1913) and The Sea Wolf (1913). American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures.
- Eileen Bowser, The Transformation of Cinema, 1907–1915, University of California Press, 1990, p. 160. ISBN 978-0-520-08534-3 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- Koszarski (1994), p. 99.
- Angeles by Laurie Connor http://www.whitleyheights.org/about5.html
- Office of Historic Resources http://www.preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/whitley-heights
- Discover Hollywood Magazine (Spring 2010) http://www.whitleyheights.org/about9.html
- History of WOF hollywoodchamber.net; Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved May 31, 2010.
- "Kramer First Name Put in Walk of Fame"(abstract). Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1960, p. 15. Full article: LA Times Archives Retrieved June 12, 2010.
- Hollywood United Neighborhood Council
- Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council
- Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Enpowerment
- HSDNC.org: FAQs
- Russell Leavitt, In California: A Fading Hollywood, TIME magazine, June 14, 1982
- Joel Kotkin (Summer 2012). "Let L.A. be L.A." 22 (3). City Journal.
- "AB 588, Chapter 185". California Acts of the 2006 Legislative Session. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
- "Mapping L.A.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
- "Hollywood-Wilshire Health Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- "Post Office Location – HOLLYWOOD." United States Postal Service. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- "Post Office Location – HOLLYWOOD PAVILION." United States Postal Service. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- "Post Office Location – SUNSET." United States Postal Service. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- City of Los Angeles Census 2000 Statistical Profile, Community Plan Area: Hollywood
- Board District 4 Map. Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
- http://hollywoodchamber.net/icons/parade.asp hollywoodchamber.net
- Watkins, Heather. "The Odyssey of Film". West Coast Midnight Run/Citadel Consulting Group LLC. Retrieved 9 February 2013.