In numerous movies depicting LA before WWII, the famous HOLLYWOOD sign actually says HOLLYWOODLAND. (Part of the story of several is how the characters somehow destroyed the last four letters.)

Did the sign truly ever say HOLLYWOODLAND, or is this another fiction from Hollywood?

I think this site may have an idea.


…Originally miscast as a giant ad for real estate development, the Sign soon took on the role of giant marquis for a city that was constantly announcing its own gala premier.

Of all the words for them to swap with a synonym…

Yep, it was an advertisement for a real estate development called “Hollywoodland”

Here is a good shot from 1920

postcards, don’t you mean a homophone?

I have nothing against gay people!

Oh, wait. Homophone.

Yeah, that is what I meant.

My favorite use of this sign is in the Disney film The Rocketeer.

“I’ll miss Hollywood,” says villain played by Timothy Dalton (as an Errol-Flynn type who really is a Nazi spy). He straps the rocket-pack to his back, unaware that it is dangerously leaking fuel. He takes off, but the leaking fuel catches fire and he plummets to his death, striking the “LAND” part of the famous sign, making it read “Hollywood”.

He certainly did miss “Hollywood”. He only hit the “-land” part.