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Best known for one of the world's biggest entertainment industries, Hollywood has been the dream destination for those who seek fortune and fame for decades now. This famous district, which is just a few minutes' drive from downtown Los Angeles, houses some of the biggest stars and studios around. Here are 10 things you never knew about Hollywood.
Fact one: Harvey and Daeida Wilcox owned a ranch called Hollywood where the modern-day Mecca of entertainment stands!
Fact two: The first movie to be made in Hollywood was 'In Old California' in 1910. This was a 17-minute short film by legendary director D. W. Griffith, who was also responsible for the groundbreaking 'Birth Of A Nation.'
Fact three: Prior to 1910, there were no movie theaters in the Hollywood district--because they were banned!
Fact four: Nestor Studio was the first movie studio to be set up in Hollywood. It was set up at 6121 Sunset Blvd. by the Centaur Co. of New Jersey at a rented roadhouse way back in 1911.
Fact five: In 1918, four brothers, who were by trade soap salesmen from Ohio, set up a studio in Hollywood. They called their new venture Warner Brothers!
Fact six: The world-famous 'HOLLYWOOD' sign (pictured here) came about in 1923, when a real estate agent called Harry Chandler decided to advertise properties in the locality. It cost him $21,000 to raise the 'HOLLYWOODLAND' sign that was initially meant to stay on for eighteen months only. In 1949, the sign was edited to read just 'HOLLYWOOD.' The Hollywood sign itself has several interesting (and tragic) stories associated with it, including that of broadway star Peg Entwistle, who committed suicide by jumping off the 'H.'
As it needed frequent renovations and upkeep, the Hollywood Sign Trust was set up in 1995 to look after this legendary landmark.
Fact seven: 'The Jazz Singer,' a 1927 movie directed by Alan Crosland, starring Al Johnson and May McAvoy, was the first talkie--or film with sound--made in Hollywood. This 89-minute classic cost a then-staggering $422,000 to make.
Fact eight: The costliest Hollywood movie till date is the 2007 'Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End.' This Johnny Depp-starrer was directed by Gore Verbinski and cost a whopping $300 million. Of course, it made close to a billion dollars!
Fact nine: The annual Academy Awards or Oscars were first held in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. This fairly cozy banquet was attended by 270 people. Only 15 different awards were presented on that night. However, in true Hollywood fashion, even back then there was an after-party!
Fact ten: Cecile B. DeMille's 1914 film 'The Squaw Man' was the first ever movie made exclusively in a Hollywood studio. Now, 500-700 movies are released in Hollywood every year, and that's about half the number of films released in India every year!
-Picture courtesy Thinkstock-
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