HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 2 (UPI) — The new year also brought a new sight for residents of La La Land on Sunday.
The famous “Hollywood” sign in the hills over Los Angeles read slightly differently — “Hollyweed.”
Someone made the changes to the iconic Los Angeles landmark by obscuring parts of the double-‘o’ to make them appear as a double-‘e.’
The Los Angeles Police Department, which has jurisdiction over the sign, said surveillance video has indicated that a lone individual made the change.
Incidentally, this isn’t the first time the sign read “Hollyweed.” The same change was made exactly 41 years ago, on the same date — New Year’s Day — in 1976 by an art student as part of a project assignment. That was also the day California law changed to make possession of marijuana, up to an ounce, a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
The famous signage, in fact, has been altered numerous times since it was first built on the hill overlooking Tinseltown in 1923. Other creative rapscallions have covered parts of the sign to spell out the words, “Holywood” in 1977 and 1987, “Go Navy” in 1983, “Ollywood” in 1987, “Oil War” in 1990, and “Go UCLA ” in 1993.
The now-legendary sign, though, wasn’t erected as a landmark. Rather it started as an advertisement for a new housing development in the area called “Hollywoodland.’ The sign was only intended to stay up there for 18 months.
The “land” part of the sign was dropped in 1949 and it became synonymous with Los Angeles in the years that followed.
The sign almost entirely crumbled by the mid-1970s — at one point missing the upper right corner of the first ‘O’ and the second O’ entirely — until it was restored by the city with help from private donors, and was returned to pristine condition.