Even though Hollywood celebrated its Centennial in 1987, it would be thirty-five years before the Hollywood today would turn 100 icon by icon. Each year more celebrations are added. We've hit the magic mark; you could say we've come of age.
Count them: The Hollywood Bowl, The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Warner Bros., Disney (yes it was born in Hollywood), and the grandest or at least the most visible of them all-the Hollywood Sign.
The famous sign looms over our community and while originally a real estate development advertisement, today it not only marks the place, it represents an industry and, when not differentiating its reach, the City of Los Angeles. Next to the other icons of California-its beaches and the Golden Gate-the Hollywood Sign also symbolizes the American dream.
Filmmaker and Art Historian, Brian Chidester, shares the phenomenal story of Eden Ahbez. How he was able to get the attention of Nat "King" Cole, then a new artist with Capitol Records, rests among the lore of Hollywood and its sign. (It is said that for a time, Ahbez actually lived under the "L.") He never reaped the fortune he could have, but deserves fame for the classic and beloved song "Nature Boy" which has become a musical standard. It set the scene in the Baz Luhrmann film Moulin Rouge. It is possible to achieve immortality.
Other creators have left their mark on this place and its culture, and architect Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. is one. Eclipsed by his famous father, Lloyd Wright made Los Angeles his home and, in addition to his more notable commissions, designed smaller homes throughout the area. The Bollman House in Sunset Square is one. It also turned 100 this year. David Jameson profiles this noted, and oft overlooked, architect.
We've been through challenging times and our young people have felt the brunt of it. Hollywood is a wonderful community of caring and three organizations serving its youth are making a difference. LACER, Hollywood PAL, and Living Advantage are worthy of support for the splendid work they do.
Lastly, there's no stopping The Hollywood Partnership initiating new projects to improve the central core of Hollywood. Opening their Dispatch Center was just the first step. As you will find in the article, they have several projects underway to benefit residents, visitors, merchants, and property owners. It's exciting to track their progress.
As we wrap this celebratory issue, we note that while the road has been a bit bumpy, change is in the wind. We're excited that Hollywood has fresh, new city, county and state leaders who have already shown their support. There's only one way to go and that's up.
Hooray for Hollywood. Here's to 100 more!