The Hollywood Sign is an icon itself and is very much part of an industry that is largely known by the same name. It signifies hope for many aspiring artists and serves as a welcome sign into the glamorous movie world. It was never intended to serve the purpose which it has been serving for a long time until the present and was initially installed by a real estate development as an advertisement as Hollywood Land.
The sign was not designed for long-term use and was created only with the intention of having it stand for about 18 months. History decided that it will stand for many years to come. It has since been repaired after suffering extensive damage and deterioration through works of man and nature. Vandalism and natural reaction of elements necessitated a major restoration project for the famous sign.
The letters had to be replaced by steel for the intended permanent structure. A different personality donated for each letter including Terrence Donnelly, Giovanni Mazza, Les Kelley, Gene Autry, Hugh Hefner, Andy Williams, Warner Bros. Records, Alice Cooper for Groucho Marx, and Thomas Pooley for Matthew Williams. It is considered illegal to make alterations to the sign although there have been several instances when this was allowed.
The Hollywood Sign is considered a tourist attraction. It is guarded by a security system to discourage vandals and other pranksters. The sign was recently been spruced up by repainting to befit its status. At least 275 gallons of paint have been used up plus 110 gallons of primer to finish the project.