Hollywood sign gets 90th birthday facelift

8 December 2012


It wouldn't be a real celebrity without facelift.

The iconic Hollywood sign, which sits atop the City of Angels, was stripped to the bone nine weeks ago -- and then refurbished to freshly painted glory.

SOUNDBITE 1 Victor Galindo (man), Painter, Sherwin-Williams (english, 12 sec):

"I am proud, yeah I am proud to paint the Hollywood Sign… My kids are proud that their daddy painted the Hollywood Sign."

The sign's most extensive makeover in nearly 35 years took $175,000 and 360 gallons of paint to complete.

Even the back was scraped, sanded and repainted.

SOUNDBITE 2 Jay Davisson (man), President and General Manager, Sherwin-Williams (English, 12 sec):

"With this technology, it's going to not pick up as much dirt so it should stay clean, and it's got a high-reflectant white coating on it, so the sign should look wonderful when that sun hits it as it does today ten years from now."

The original sign, erected in 1923, had 13 letters -- "Hollywoodland" -- and advertised a property development that was later abandoned.

The last four letters were removed in 1949.

The rest slowly fell into disrepair -- but was restored in the late 70s with money from private donors.

Today, the landmark is a symbol of the film industry -- and of those who, one day, hope to make it big.

SOUNDBITE 3 Chris Baumgart (man), Chairman, Hollywood Sign Trust (English, 18 sec):

"That sign represents the dreams, the dreams of people that come here and want to try to get in the business. It also represents the dreams that are put on screens, large and small, around the world. And it has morphed into not just representing the film industry, it's also the face of the Los Angeles lifestyle."

For tourists who come to LA, a photo with the star is an absolute must.

SOUNDBITE 4 Mariam, Karima, and Mala ERKA (women), Moroccan tourists (French, 13 sec):

Karima: We saw the Hollywood sign in black and white movies when we were young, and in other films throughout the years --- so to see it now, in person, is amazing!

[Karima: Depuis notre jeune âge, on voit ce Hollywood dans les films en noir et blanc… et puis son évolution dans le cinéma, et puis voilà on est ici en live, c'est magnifique"]

SOUNDBITE 5 Stewart Famon (man), Australian tourist (English, 10 sec):

"It's much bigger than I thought it was actually, and it's very exciting because you see it all over the movies and the TV shows so it's really nostalgic."

A nostalgic Hollywood will toast the sign's 90th birthday next year -- 90 years of small screen shows, blockbuster movies -- and big time stars.




- zoom out of the Hollywood sign

- pan from the back of the sign to view of LA

- VAR of painters on the hill


- VAR of painters on the hill

SOUNDBITE 2 Jay Davisson


**NO RESALE for non-editorial purposes**

- VAR of the sign in 1949


**NO RESALE for non-editorial purposes**

- VAR of the sign in 1978


- CU of the Hollywood sign

- VAR of the press conference after the completed renovation with sign in the background

SOUNDBITE 3 Chris Baumgart

- VAR of tourists taking photos with the sign in the background

SOUNDBITE 4 & 5 Voxpops

- VAR of tourists taking photos with the sign in the background

- woman pretends to be a star, says 'no pictures please! No pictures!'

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