The organization that maintains the iconic Hollywood sign in the foothills of Los Angeles has announced plans to build a visitor center at the site.
The Hollywood Sign Trust said the visitor center will give fans “a more enriching experience and the opportunity to learn about the fascinating history of the Hollywood sign.”
Overlooking the entertainment capital of the world, the sign was erected in 1923 above the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. Its original purpose was to advertise an upscale real estate development in the area. It was built to last just 18 months.
One hundred years later, it’s still standing thanks in part to its metamorphosis as a symbol for the American movie and television industries.
“People from all over the world have been captivated by the recent transformation of the Hollywood sign, and now with fresh paint and the upcoming 100th anniversary, we are thrilled to move ahead on plans to create a one-of-a-kind visitor center,” Jeff Zarrinnam, chair of the Hollywood Sign Trust, said in a release.
The Hollywood Sign Trust will raise funds to build the visitor center from a variety of means, including sponsorships and memberships. It also plans to offer concepts and location contests to allow city residents to have input on the visitor center plans.
“Over the years, visitors and locals have expressed great interest in a close-up experience where they can learn more about the roots of the Hollywood sign, its legendary stories, and the epic hopes and dreams the sign continues to inspire,” Zarrinnam said.
The campaign to build a visitors center will harken back to memories of 1978, when the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and a handful of celebrities led a charge to rebuild and refurbish the sign. Alice Cooper, Hugh Hefner, Gene Autry, and Andy Williams were among those who fought for the cause.
That same year was also when the Hollywood Sign Trust was formed to protect the sign’s future going forward.
“We are thrilled to assist in bringing the sign into its next 100 years with this invaluable and exciting new resource, and look forward to shining a spotlight on the storied history of the Hollywood sign,” said Zarrinnam.
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