How HOLLYWOOD became HOLLYWOOD

Photo by Daniel Semenov from Pexels

Hollywood – the ever-famous name which everyone knows and has heard of. The “movie central” of the world which every aspiring actor and actress wants to work in. Though we all know of and have heard of Hollywood, just like every historic story there is a humble beginning to its fame. This historic location located just off Los Angeles, California was first developed in the year 1853 with just one adobe hut located just off Los Angeles, California. During the earlier days of time where growing crops was the go-to profession for many Hollywood too was a successful location for crops growing. By the year 1870 Hollywood’s’ agriculture was booming that it managed to raise an agricultural community.

The towns name originated from the wife of Harvey Henderson Wilcox – a real estate tycoon – who moved to Hollywood in the year 1880 after losing function of his legs, he moved there with his wife and purchased 160acres of land west of the city. His wife Daeida Wilcox Beveridge, named their land Hollywood after taking a train trip east where she met a lady who explained her country home in Ohio – which was named for the Dutch settlement of Hollywood. Having a huge liking to the name – upon returning from her trip she decided to name their ranch Hollywood. Thought Harvey’s efforts of getting into ranching did not go so well he continued to try and in the year 1887, Harvey Henderson Wilcox, filed a grid map to the Los Angeles County office. These documentations were the plans for his new town, and it was the first ever recorded documentation with the name “Hollywood”.

It is an interesting tale of how Hollywood became the movie capital of the world. It was during the 1900s’ when movie making was becoming rather popular and movie makers were increasing their production in the United States particularly New Jersey. Thomas Edison’s Motion Picture patents company, which was in New Jersey, owned the majority of the movie making patents at that point of time. They made it difficult for independent movie makers to produce movies as Thomas Edison’s Motion Picture Patents Company would stop their productions by suing these independent movie makers. In order to get away from this constant disturbance from motion pictures – independent movie makers started fleeing to Hollywood to produce their movies. Hollywood was an ideal spot for movie makers due to its beautiful weather conditions. In addition to that, the geographical location of Hollywood allowed movie makers to flee to Mexico if there was news that an agent from the Edison company was about to pay them a visit in Hollywood.

Photo by Martin Jernberg on Unsplash

The iconic Hollywood sign was first erected in the year 1923 with the name “Hollywoodland”. The intentions of the erection of the “Hollywoodland” sign in 1923 was to advertise the “subdivision” near the top of Mount Lee. After several years the iconic sign fell and was unable to be repaired. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce was given permission to remove the four letters at the end of the sign and to rebuild it on the hillside. This iconic sign “Hollywood” – is now a registered landmark and requires special permission in order to be used for filming. In addition to being the movie central – Hollywood is also the host for the first-ever Academy Awards presentation (Oscars), which took place in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on the 16th of May 1929. The first ever Academy Awards lasted a duration of just 15minutes – we have come a long way since then. The list of historical events leading to the popularisation of Hollywood goes on and will continue to grow.

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