Hollywood – A Torch Bearer of Filmdom Across the World

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The famous Hollywood is a district in Los Angles in the state of California. Hollywood refers to American Cinema. You can see the word “Hollywood” engraved in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles. One of the prominent landmarks of the United States and the world over is the traditional ‘Hollywood Sign’. History shows that a part of an advertisement in 1923 created the word “Hollywood.”

Hollywood finds itself intertwined with the Golden ages of history, right from the 18th century, when it was an agricultural area. With the launching of Nestor Motion Picture Company, film making advanced. Towards 1915, Los Angeles created several American Films.

A few renowned film companies that established their studios in Hollywood included Paramount, Columbia, Warner Bros and RKO Radio Pictures Inc. In 1920, Hollywood achieved universal recognition as the center of film industry in the United States. As Hollywood gradually advanced as a renowned film industry of the country, restaurants, banks, movie places and clubs started mushrooming. The national register of Historic places decided to include commercial and entertainment district of Hollywood Boulevard in its records.

The basis of the eminent “Hollywood” sign, rooted in Americana, was initially set up to advertise a new sector at the peak of Mount Lee, known as “Hollywood land”

In 1923, the sign was in a dilapidated condition. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, having received due authority, removed the last four letters from the word “Hollywood land” and re-established the remaining portion of the sign on the hillside in 1943. The chamber of commerce owned the sign with the registered trademark that filming used exclusively with their permission. In 1956, the Chamber of commerce gave these five-pointed stars to the entertainment industry to honor their major contributors. This gave birth to the Walk of Fame with 2400 celebrities’ names engraved in pink five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars on the sidewalks along Hollywood Boulevard.

From the end of the silent film period of 1927 to 1948, the Hollywood Movie studio system had control over the films shown across the country. Five of the leading Hollywood studios possessed huge theaters that screened only movies produced by their contracted actors. They are Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Paramount, 20th century Fox, RKO Radio Pictures Inc., and Warner Bros.

Because of Hollywood’s strong position in the Golden Age of film making industry, the stars had no options but to enter into contracts with the studios. The prominent stars then were Mae West, Ronald Reagan, Judy Garland, Will Rogers, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, John Wayne, and Audie Murphy.

The United States Supreme Court in 1948 made a milestone decision. They said that studios which had actors contracted exclusively to them could not own the theaters. The Golden Age of Hollywood had ended.

When television became worthwhile and a popular means of entertainment, these studios contributed programs for the TV from the mid 1950s. It is of great interest to note that the first 10 highest Box office hits of 2012 grossed over $3.3 billion.

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