Hollywood Sign Made Over To Read Hollyweed By New Year’s Eve Prankster
This is pretty funny. If you’re in L.A. you may have noticed one of the city’s most famous landmarks
was a little different on New Year’s Day!
Security footage recorded at 3 a.m. Sunday showed a “lone individual” climbing up the mountain, scaling the sign’s ladders and hanging tarpaulins over the O’s to change them to E’s, said Sgt. Guy Juneau of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Security Services division.
It could have been a New Year’s Eve prank, Juneau said, or the work of “a thrill seeker.”
The surveillance footage showed a man dressed in black, tactical-style gear. One of the tarpaulins was decorated with a peace sign, and another with a heart.
Because the sign was not damaged, the incident will be investigated as misdemeanor trespassing. The police have no suspects.
Some Angelenos joked that the alteration reflected California’s recent vote to legalize recreational marijuana.
This isn’t the first time the sign has been switched up. Originally erected to read Hollywoodland in 1923, a storm knocked out the H in 1949 and although it was repaired, the “land” was removed the same year.
This isn’t even the first New Year’s that the sign got face “lifted.” Cal State Northridge student Daniel Finegood climbed Mount Lee back in 1976 on New Year’s Day to change it to “HOLLYWeeD” for the first time using $50 worth of curtains. Finegood’s swap happened on the first day that marijuana possession was changed from a felony to a misdemeanor. Finegood made the change as his project for an art class assignment on working with scale. The daring move earned him an A.
There’s way more though…
In 1983, the sign was draped with the words “Go Navy” before the annual Army-Navy game. Later that decade, Caltech students edited the sign to spell out the name of their school.
In 1987, the sign became “Holywood” to mark a visit by Pope John Paul II. But the prank was undone before the pontiff arrived in Los Angeles.
In the decade that followed, edits to the sign got political at least twice. The first time was in 1990, when Finegood scaled the peak again and changed the sign to read “Oil War,” to protest the Persian Gulf War.
Five days before the 1992 presidential elections, supporters of independent candidate Ross Perot draped sheets across the landmark to spell out “Perotwood.”
Tired of the unsanctioned changes, city officials eventually enhanced security with a fence, alarms and a surveillance system that captured Saturday’s prankster.
What do you think about the change?