For an icon of the Los Angeles film industry the Hollywood Sign has been rather neglected. At one point the sign’s official caretaker drove his car into the H, destroying it. Originally reading Hollywood Land and erected by a property developer the “Land” was removed at the instruction of the LA Parks Department and Hollywood adopted by the burgeoning film industry in the early 20th century as its own.
However having moved from proclaiming the existence of one industry to another, nobody seemed to really care about the sign and by the 1970s the sign was falling apart. It was only the intervention of a campaign to save the sign that is was restored in 1978 with donations from, amongst others, Alice Cooper.
After nearly three quarters of a century of being strangely neglected the “Save The Peak” movement have finally bought the land around the sign to protect it from further housing development. Hugh Hefner donating a hefty $900,000 to top up the $12.5 million required to buy the area and put it in trust.
Heff is a business man and knows that whatever he does will be covered in the mainstream press. However there are cheaper ways to get column inches, so we think the donation was at least partly philanthropic.