[dropcap]W[/dropcap] arner Brothers studios wants to build an aerial tramway to transport people to and from the Hollywood sign, starting from a parking structure next to its Burbank lot.
The project comes with an estimated price tag is $100 million, and would take visitors on a 6-minute ride more than 1 mile up the back of Mt. Lee to a new visitors center near the sign, with pathways to a viewing area.
The studio told city officials the purpose was to give selfie-seeking visitors a way to see the 44feet tall by 352 feet long Hollywood sign without driving and hiking through residential neighborhoods, such as Beachwood Canyon. The increasing number of tourists has become an issue for residents in the area.
Under the proposal, the studio would share ticketing revenue with the city to support park activities.
The project is likely to take about five years to complete.
The Hollywood sign was erected in 1923, and originally read “Hollywoodland.” Its purpose was to advertise the name of a new segregated housing development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.
Originally, the whole sign was studded with around 4,000 light bulbs. It flashed in segments: “HOLLY,” “WOOD,” and “LAND’ lit up individually, and then the whole. Below the Hollywoodland sign was also searchlight to attract more attention.
The sign was changed to “Hollywood” in 1949, during a repair and rebuild. The lights were also removed, because of the cost to run them.
By the 1970s, the neglected sign fell into disrepair. Hugh Hefner, founder of playboy magazine, spear-headed a public campaign for its restoration. A quarter of a million dollars was raised with nine donors each gave US$27,777.77 for a letter of the sign. Hefner donated the letter “H”.