Have you ever looked at the Hollywood sign and realized there is something completely off with one of the letters? Well, you wouldn’t be alone there! This article will help those who haven’t spotted this mistake to see what they’ve been missing. Be warned, once you notice it, you won’t be able to not see it.
Mistake on the Hollywood Sign
In an interview with News.com.au, the chair of the Hollywood sign trust, Jeff Zarrinman said he loves to point out the obvious mistake in the famous Hollywood sign. If you haven’t noticed it before, Zarrinman is convinced it’s going to ruin your perception of the sign for good. You will not be able to unsee it. Firstly, take a good long look at the shape of the “W,” what do you see? Well, in case your eyes don’t see it, the “V” shaped gap on the left-hand side of the W is narrower than the gap on the right.
“I always get a kick out of telling people this when they’re standing in front of it,” Jeff Zarrinman said. “Even though people just stand and stare at it when they visit it, they never notice. When I point it out and tell them one of the ‘V’s in the ‘W’ is wider than the other by a significant margin, they’re always amazed.”
He continued, “So the ‘mistake’, if you want to call it that, is still there, but people don’t notice even if they stare at it for hours — and when you notice it, you can’t unsee it.”
In 1923, a real estate developer named Harry Chandler, who was also the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, conceived the idea of building a grand, eye-catching sign to lure people from downtown Los Angeles to the newly developed area known as Hollywoodland. The concept was simple but ingenious – by creating an iconic sign that could be seen for miles, Chandler aimed to pique the interest of potential buyers interested in purchasing property in this up-and-coming suburb.
For years, the Hollywoodland sign served its intended purpose, attracting attention and potential homeowners to the area. However, as the 1920s gave way to the 1930s, the Great Depression cast a dark shadow over the country. Property sales slowed to a crawl, and the economic downturn hit the Hollywoodland development hard.
As a result of the economic hardships, the maintenance of the sign began to deteriorate. The developers could no longer afford to keep the sign fully lit, and some of the letters fell into disrepair. In 1944, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce took over the responsibility of maintaining the sign, and they decided to remove the “land” from the end, transforming it into the iconic “Hollywood” sign we know today.
Read: Homeless Man Builds Wooden House ‘On Wheels’ On Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Sign Fundraiser
In 1949, the Hollywood sign was not looking so good. It was built as a temporary installment for the Hollywoodland development. But, now that no maintenance was being done, it was falling apart. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided it had become an iconic part of Hollywood. So, they took over the maintenance.
In 1970, the Chamber of Commerce realized that the sign would need to be redone completely. That meant taking it down to rebuild it from scratch. Zarrinman held fundraisers to gather up the $250,000 needed for the job. “The sign had fans and the community wanted to help,” Mr. Zarrinman said. “[So] in April of 1978 the Chamber formed a ‘save the sign committee’.
Celebrities including Hugh Heffner, Alice Cooper, and the Warner Brothers all joined in on sponsoring letters for the Sign. Hugh sponsored the letter “Y,” while Alice Cooper took the letter “O.”
- “Hollywood sign mistake you can’t unsee: 100th year anniversary. NEWS. Shireen Kahlil. September 3, 2023
- “The Hollywood sign mistake you can’t unsee. NZ Herald. September 4, 2023.