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Hollywood was previously a small district in California. Los Angeles to be precise. Popularly known around the world for its iconic film industry and studios. In 1886 when it was only an agricultural community, a real estate developer known today as H.J. Whitley, while on his honeymoon, stood atop the hill in Hollywood looking over the valley.

A Chinese man hauling wood passed by and Whitley asked him what he was doing. Then the man, because of his Chinese accent, replied, “holly-wood”, Whitley was inspired to name the area Hollywood (which is today a name on every lips of movie lovers or should I say Movie freak).

Whitley’s town grew and in 1903 it became a municipality. In the early 1900s filmmakers began to make movies in Los Angeles, and in 1910 Hollywood merged with Los Angeles. Its first studio opened in 1911. As the film industry grew Hollywood gained the nickname Tinseltown, and today it is known as the most famous film industry center in the whole wide world.


The name Hollywood alone breeds interest, the sound of it depicts fantastic and mind blowing scenes. Let’s have a look on the previously not too known historical facts about the most famous film making center in world.

  • Hollywood was previously called Cahuenga Valley.
  • The ‘Father of Hollywood’ is H. J. Whitley, the one who gave it its name. He was born in Canada and became a U.S. national in the 1870s.
  • Living in New Jersey was Thomas Edison, who held patents on filming equipment. As a result of that, filmmakers moved to Hollywood in order to avoid legal issues that may emanate later on.
  • Old Hollywood” was the very first movie created or filmed in Hollywood but not entirely inside Hollywood. It was released back them in 1910 and was just 1, 020 seconds long. That sounds hilarious when you look at the current durations most movies last on the big screen today (for instance Jack Snyder’s Justice League; which lasted for four hours).
  • Before 1910 movie theatres had been banned in Hollywood. Things changed when Hollywood merged with Los Angeles in 1910.
  • Nestor Studio” – if you’ve been an old fan of Hollywood movies, you’d notice that almost all and every movie produced back then had just one movie studio written at the intro part of the movie and it was “Nestor Studios”. Nestor Studio happens to be the very first film studio in Hollywood. It was created in 1911 by New Jersey’s Centaur Co. in a roadhouse at 6121 Sunset Blvd.
  • The first movie to be made completely inside the confines of Hollywood studio was “The Squaw Man”, in 1914 by Cecile B. DeMille.
  • Hollywood is the standard for all other movie industries both of the past, present, and even future.
  • We surely all know Warner Bros. they’re so popular you can’t watch or name top movies of every single year that they are not involved in. Warner Brothers studio in Hollywood was founded in 1918 by four brothers (which is the reason for the “Bros.” in the name) all from Ohio.
  • Hollywood is the most popular film industry in the world, this fact might not come as a surprise, but it definitely has to be listed. I know you’d agree with that.
  • The world famous and legendary Hollywood sign you see in most Hollywood movies was put in place in 1923 by a real estate developer. Originally meant to stay in place for just 18 months (A year and 6 months) to advertise properties to outsiders especially. It originally read ‘Hollywoodland’. The sign remained in place long after it was intended to, and in 1949 the word ‘land’ was later removed leaving only the “Hollywood” we see today.
  • The first ‘talkie’, in Hollywood, which means a film made with sound, was produced in 1927. It was titled The Jazz Singer (it was a huge breakthrough in the movie world, it was the beginning of sound effects).
  • In 1929 the first Academy Awards (Oscars) were held in Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel, with only 15 awards the first year (a far cry to the number of awards Oscars dishes out these days).
  • There is a cemetery in Hollywood called Forever Cemetery where many stars have been laid to rest, including Mel Blanc (most well-known for ‘That’s All Folks’ on Looney Tunes).
  • Some of the most iconic places to visit include the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios, the Chinese Theatre, Charlie Chaplin Studios, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, and Roosevelt Hotel (The very best of its kind).
  • Hollywood is home to the Academy Awards (The Award that defines stars), the Hollywood Christmas Parade, and the Hollywood Half Marathon.
  • There are other cities around the world that have nicknames inspired by Hollywood.
  • Bollywood is India’s Hindi language version of Hollywood. Canada’s film and television industry is referred to as Hollywood North. Chinawood is the name of China’s largest film studio.
  • In the same vein, Nollywood is Nigeria’s version of Hollywood.
  • Hollywood has the highest amount of established stars till date.
  • It has one of the largest (still on debate as the largest) film making academy in the world.

Hollywood is very rich in history and the bench mark for movie other movie industry. Looking at this brief facts about Hollywood, you would get to understand why other movie industries are downgraded or given lesser respect than they actually deserve.

A big thanks to H.J Whitley for such a wonderful discovery.

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