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Hollywood Walk Of Fame
The Hollywood sign
Projecting Kinetoscope by Thomas Edison

Hollywood is a district in Los Angeles, California. It is famous around the world as a place where movies and television series are made. It has many different attractions such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios and the famous Hollywood Sign. The word Hollywood can also mean the movie industry that is in Hollywood. Many tourists come to the area.

Many historic Hollywood theaters are used as venues and concert stages to premiere major theatrical releases and host the Academy Awards. It is a popular destination for nightlife and tourism. The Hollywood Walk of Fame was created in 1958 and the first star was placed in 1960 on a sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard.

The first movie to be made entirely in Hollywood was the 17-minute short In Old California directed by D. W. W. Griffith, released in 1910.

Hollywood History

The town started around 1853 as a very small area in what is now Los Angeles, California. It only had a single adobe hut at the time. During the 1870's, an agricultural community formed around the community.

In 1887, Harvey Wilcox, who did very well in real estate, moved to California from Kansas with his wife Daeida. They bought 160 acres of land to the west near what is now Hollywood.

When Daeida, Havery's wife, traveled to the East Coast, she met a lady on a train that came from a placed called Hollywood Ohio, which was named after a Dutch settlement. She really liked the name and decided to call her new purchased ranch "Hollywood."

The city quickly grew over time. In 1902 the Hollywood Hotel was built that is now the Kodak Theatre and home to the Academy Awards. Hollywood was an independent city for a while in 1903, but primarily because of a lack of water, it was forced to become part of Los Angeles in 1910.

Film Industry

While electric lights existed at that time, the best source of light for filming came from natural sunlight and Southern California had plenty of it along with moderate dry climates, and a variety of natural scenery for creating different movie scenes without needing to relocate for filming which was costly. Places ranging from Africa to Alaska could all be filmed in one city.

Another reason film studios originally moved to Hollywood was that it was far away from New Jersey that at the time had a monopoly of over the entire film industry. This was because Thomas Edison had a motion picture patent for his Kinetoscope in 1897 and they were actively suing other studios that were using a similar technology. The Kinetoscope is considered to be the first motion picture machine. It was later developed by Edison to project on a screen. It was more difficult for Edison's company to go after people in Los Angeles and the movie makers would often escape to Mexico before they could be caught and shutdown.

In 1917 Edison's tight control over his patent was ruled unlawful by the courts and against public interest. The Hollywood movie industry began to really take off after that time.

Hollywood Sign

The now famous "Hollywood Sign" was put up in 1923 with very big letters that could be seen from a distance. It originally read "Hollywoodland" to advertise a new housing development in the hills above it. It used to be lit up by 4,000 light bulbs and would flash in segments to draw attention. In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce took over the sign and removed the "land" part to reflect the city more and not the housing development group. They also removed the lights from it.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame was created in 1958 to honor stars that had a notable impact in the film and entertainment industry. Actress Joanne Woodward got the first star in 1960. The Hollywood Walk of Fame now has over 2,600 5-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded into the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California.

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