Hollywood History

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May 2010




1. The beginning of Hollywood

2. The name ”Hollywood”

3. The movie of S. Porter - “the father of the Story Film”

4. The Hollywood sign

5. The growing film industry

6. The new Hollywood

7. The beginning of the Academy Awards

8. The Golden Age of Hollywood

9. Hollywood during the War Years

10. Stars




I have always been fascinated by the Hollywood’s world, a world of mixture between reality and glittering fantasy, of beauty, glamour, art, a world in which any dream can come to reality.

The word Hollywood conjures the outstanding images of Sunset Strip, Hollywood Boulevard, Cahuenga Boulevard, La Brea Avenue, of nightclubs, movie palaces, special effects, extraordinary people – stars of the gaudiest illumination, Hollywood being often referred to as a “state of mind”.

Hollywood is a segment of Los Angeles, California, USA. Here, almost a century ago, the American Dream burst bigger than anything, giving birth to a new world, the movie industry. Of course, movies were, and still are, made in different locations, some nearby, and some far away. But nowhere and nothing frees our fantasies and stirs our hopes and fears, like that unparallel word: “Hollywood”. Actually, Hollywood is a town like any other, fighting against crime, poverty, sleaze, Hollywood’s real location being in the mind of movie lovers.

Today Hollywood is the symbol of the Dream Factory and the world’s first movie industry, the center of all kinds of media production, from film, to the internet and television.

I tried to present the history of the Hollywood’s movie industry, gradually following its evolution, beginning with the first human evidence in this area (the Gabrielino Indians) in 1800, the first movie companies in Hollywood, to nowadays stars.

1. The Beginning of Hollywood

There was a time when the only stars in Hollywood were found in the night skies, arching over quiet farms and adobes. Before Hollywood became an entertainment mecca, it was home of pioneers, citrus groves and… stray camels.

The first recorded human residents of 'Hollywood' were the Gabrielino Indians. Writing in his diary of 1769, a Spanish priest noted Indian villages with their brush huts scattered in the canyons. After the first Spanish pueblo of Los Angeles was established, the native Gabrielinos vanished with hardly a trace. "Cahuenga", meaning "little hills" in their language, is one of the few reminders of their founding presence.

Mexico controlled California until the Mexican War of 1947. After the war, Mexican landowners were replaced by farmers from the East, including the new owners of Rancho La Brea (now Hollywood). In 1853, one adobe hut stood on the site that became Hollywood. By 1870, an agricultural community flourished in the area with thriving crops, grain to subtropical bananas and pineapples.

Until the mid-1800, the vast reaches and resources of California belonged to Mexico. When the United States defeated Mexico in the Mexican War of 1847, the original Mexican landowners, with the help of some slippery laws, lost their sprawling estates to farmers from the East. Adobes were replaced with wood frame houses with porches and windmills. Rancho La Brea, in the area now known as Hollywood, wound up in the hands of a family who built a tar refinery. Workers of the tar beds unearthed the bones and teeth of prehistoric saber-toothed cats, woolly mammoths and dinosaurs. The family eventually gave the remarkable fossil beds, known as the La Brea Tar Pits, to Los Angeles County.

During the 19th century, Hollywood was basically a frontier town complete with Westward Ho, pioneers, cowboys and the occasional bandit, straight out of central casting. It also had its share of flamboyant settlers, including one named “Greek George". George arrived in the Cahuenga Valley with a drove of camels...
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