The story behind the massive white block letters set into a steep Los Angeles hillside—and the city and culture they represent: “Terrific.”—San Francisco Chronicle To so many who see its image, the Hollywood sign represents the earthly home of that otherwise ethereal world of fame, stardom, celebrity—the American and worldwide aspiration to be in the limelight, to be, like the Hollywood sign itself, instantly recognizable. How an advertisement erected in 1923, touting the real estate development Hollywoodland, took on a life of its own is a story worthy of a movie itself. Leo Braudy traces the remarkable life of this distinctly American landmark, which has been saved over the years by a various fans and supporters, among them Alice Cooper and Hugh Hefner, who spearheaded its reconstruction in the 1970s. He also uses the sign’s history to offer an intriguing look at the rise of the film business from its earliest, silent days through the development of the studio system that helped define modern Hollywood. Mixing social history, urban studies, literature, and film, along with forays into such topics as the lure of Hollywood for utopian communities and the development of domestic architecture in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Sign is a fascinating account of how a temporary structure has become a permanent icon of American culture. “An entertaining tale.”—The Washington Post
This is the HARDBACK version. David Del Valle, writer, curator, collector, and Hollywood historian, takes you on a first person tour of the man-made Shangri La beneath the Hollywood sign, ultimately descending into the smog-shrouded netherworld of Lost Horizons. His candid recollections prove to be a celebration of contrasts, as David hangs out with the reigning pop culture icons of the day, Timothy Leary, Christopher Isherwood, Terry Southern, and Kenneth Anger. David maintained a life-long passion for those artisans that created the Horror genre. He grew up as a monster-watching kid of the 1950s, watching those films unfold on television, and his interactions with genre personalities like Vampira, John Carradine, Christopher Lee, and Barbara Steele testify to his devotion to their legacy. The book also delves into his long relationships with Vincent Price and Curtis Harrington during twenty-five years of living in Beverly Hills, as well as unforgettable moments such as introducing Hermione Baddeley to the Avant Garde filmmaker Rainer Fassbinder in a West Hollywood leather bar while Martha Raye searched her purse for poppers. Ken Russell, one of David's favorite directors, was fond of reminding David "Every day in Tinsle town is Halloween." Enter the realm of Lost Horizons and discover that you are no longer a tourist. You are now one of the attractions.
This is the first complete biography of actress Peg Entwistle, known as the "Hollywood Sign Girl" because of her suicide fall from the HOLLYWOODLAND sign in 1932. It details her childhood, stage and film career, marriage and divorce, and her suicide and almost cult-like pop culture status today. Extensively researched and written with the complete cooperation of the Entwistle family, this work includes excerpts from interviews with Peg Entwistle's brother Milton and her cousin Helen Reid, both of whom recalled much of Peg's years living in Hollywood, her career and private life, and her final weeks. It also features many of Peg Entwistle's own words from extant letters to her family and newly discovered interviews with theatrical reporters. Nearly 30 previously unpublished images from the author's collection, the Entwistle family, and a number of other sources complete an intimate look at a life that was defined by far more than its famously unhappy end.
Writer Iris Berry has always been fascinated by the reality of modern-day Hollywood and its glittery history as Tinseltown, and in her new collection of poetry, All That Shines Under the Hollywood Sign, the two worlds collide. She marvels about the way jazz glides "its way/down translucent highways/at one in the morning" and "ephemeral evenings/draped across Hollywood" and rhapsodizes about such long-lost local landmarks as the Tropicana Motel and the Garden of Allah. Accompanied by evocative L.A.-centric illustrations by Scott Aicher. Berry's portraits of vanishing and changing Southern California are often sentimental but infused with a rueful punk-rock perspective as she mulls over how "A catalog/of catastrophic events/shaped our lives. Falling James, LA WEEKLY
LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER People all over the world have seen Los Angeles’s famed "Hollywood" sign and the iconic domed Griffith Observatory. Both are part of Griffith Park, a place visited by more than 10 million people each year--more than Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks combined. Rugged and vast, the 4,511-acre Griffith Park encompasses a sprawling 70-mile long network of trails, ranging from paved paths through manicured landscapes to challenging ridgeline climbs, and is a destination for hikers, trail runners, cyclists, equestrians, picnickers, and museum-goers. It’s a unique outdoor space in a city that is not well known for its outdoor amenities. Discovering Griffith Park uses the park’s extensive trail network as an anchor to explore the park in full, whether on foot, wheel, or hoof. Readers will also find out where the best views of the Hollywood sign are, where they can catch free Shakespeare on summer evenings, and how to attend one of the legendary Los Angeles Breakfast Club meetings for good food, good friends, and a bit of early morning learning.
In Christianity, as with most religions, attaining holiness and a higher spirituality while simultaneously pursuing worldly ideals such as fame and fortune is nearly impossible. So how do people pursuing careers in Hollywood's entertainment industry maintain their religious devotion without sacrificing their career goals? For some, the answer lies just two miles south of the historic center of Hollywood, California, at the Oasis Christian Center. In Hollywood Faith, Gerardo Marti shows how a multiracial evangelical congregation of 2,000 people accommodates itself to the entertainment industry and draws in many striving to succeed in this harsh and irreverent business. Oasis strategically sanctifies ambition and negotiates social change by promoting a new religious identity as "champion of life"-an identity that provides people who face difficult career choices and failed opportunities a sense of empowerment and endurance. The first book to provide an in-depth look at religion among the "creative class," Hollywood Faith will fascinate those interested in the modern evangelical movement and anyone who wants to understand how religion adapts to social change.
Established by real estate developers Tracy E. Shoults and S. H. Woodruff in 1923, Hollywoodland was one of the first hillside developments built in Hollywood. Touting its class and sophistication, the neighborhood promoted a European influence, featuring such unique elements as stone retaining walls and stairways, along with elegant Spanish, Mediterranean, French Normandy, and English Tudor-styled homes thoughtfully placed onto the hillsides. The community contains one of the world's most recognizable landmarks, the Hollywood sign, originally constructed as a giant billboard for the development and reading "Hollywoodland." The book illustrates the development of the upper section of Beachwood Canyon known as Hollywoodland with historical photographs from Hollywood Heritage's S. H. Woodruff Collection as well as from other archives, institutions, and individuals.