Los Angeles is one of the most iconic, well-known cities in the United States. When you think of LA, you might picture the massive Hollywood sign, Santa Monica Pier, or the Walk of Fame. Even if you’ve lived in LA your whole life – or as it was formerly known, “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora Reina de los Angeles sobre el Rio Porciuncula,” a mouthful which translates to “The Town of Our Lady Queen of the Angels on the Porciuncula River” – there still may be a few things you don’t know about this famous city. Here are three pieces of little-known trivia about this well-known city.
One of the most iconic pieces of LA history is the famous Hollywood sign that sits atop Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains. These letters stand 45 feet high with the entire sign being 350 feet across. However, it was not always as it is today. From the years 1923-1949 it read “Hollywoodland,” which sounds more magical than it is. It was actually a billboard advertising a real estate development. In ‘49, it had become deteriorated and was in need of revitalization. The local chamber of commerce opted for the “land” portion to be removed and spruced up the sign to represent the famous Los Angeles entertainment industry. In 1970, it once again became weathered and worn, but the plans made to tear it down were halted by another icon in pop culture, Hugh Hefner. Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine, raised the money to return it to its original condition and it still stands today as one of the most recognizable pieces of LA and California as a whole.
Home of the Film Industry
Many think of Los Angeles as the birthplace of the film industry, but this isn’t entirely true. While show business has been booming in Hollywood for decades, the original home of movies was none other than New Jersey. Motion picture technology was created in West Orange, New Jersey by Thomas Edison, who held many patents in the industry that prevented filmmakers from working and created a monopoly over the industry. The only option for filmmakers was to head west to California, where they were free from the constraints of Edison’s patents. The inexpensive land in California along with a large prospective workforce was desirable for those in the industry, and this created the home of show business that we know today. New Jersey is up-and-coming in the film industry once again, however, due to tax incentives on film and TV.
There are at least 11 miles worth of hidden tunnels around Los Angeles, most of which are inaccessible to the average person. While many of these were used back in the day to transport alcohol in Prohibition Era or bodies and large sums of money by big-time mobsters, most were closed off after 9/11 due to fears of these tunnels being used for terroristic reasons. However, there are said to be a few places where parts of these tunnels are accessible today. Who knows – there could be houses for sale in Los Angeles right now that sit atop these eerie pieces of history.