Whenever you think about movies, Hollywood comes to mind. This is not something that applies to only American citizens or residents, it is everywhere. And one cannot help but wonder how Hollywood — a district within Los Angeles, became synonymous with movies and celebrities.
Outside America, movie industries have been named with respect to Hollywood. That is why you hear of Bollywood, Tollywood, Nollywood, and Kollywood. These names have a common suffix that clearly shows the idea was really to make it look like Hollywood.
It all started in the 1850s
Back then, Hollywood was not so prestigious. In fact, the place has humble beginnings and anyone would be right to call it a “rags to riches” story.
Back in 1853, what you know as Hollywood today was just a small hut. 30 years later, a renowned real estate developer bought the land, but it was not for entertainment purposes. He only wanted to practice ranching.
After failing in his attempt at successful ranching, this real estate developer reached out to the county and subdivided the land that would later become Hollywood. All this happened around 1887, and between that time and 1900, the place started developing and attracting more residents.
Markets, hotels, and other important parts of a community started springing up. But things didn’t really take a huge turn for the developing city until another real estate developer — HJ Whitley, got involved in Hollywood.
Whitley is regarded as the person that really brought electricity to Hollywood by financing the establishment of a bank in the area. At that time, Hollywood was still known as prospect avenue.
It wasn’t until 1910 that the place started bearing Hollywood. An iconic name that eventually became the standard for entertainment in the world.
How it became the movie capital of the world
Old California was the first movie that was filmed in Hollywood, but it wasn’t until 1911 that the first movie studio appeared in the city. This brought a lot of progress to the budding entertainment industry, and many studies in other parts of the country started relocating.
By 1915, almost all the big companies involved in motion pictures had moved to Hollywood for business. This increased the popularity of the place and more hotels, homes, markets, and banks were built in the city of Hollywood.
This is how the place started to get famous, and since people like being in places where great things happen, Hollywood started to see an impressive increase in population.
Automatically, more filmmakers left the East coast for Hollywood because of the potential in Hollywood, and before the end of 1915, more than 20 companies were producing movies there.
Hollywood was such a perfect place for movie production
Everyone knows this now, but back then it was a new discovery. Of all the other places in the country, Hollywood was one of the farthest from the Trust’s headquarters.
There was also a legal advantage of Hollywood that made every filmmaker rush to the place. Back then, motion picture films were patented by the famous Thomas Edison. He had a motion picture patent company, which made it possible for him to sue any filmmaker for infringement as long as they worked outside Hollywood.
Hollywood just happened to be the place where people could make movies without any legal worries, so they understandably ran to Hollywood and made it their headquarters — this is the reason Hollywood stood out.
The fact that people felt safe and could explore their creativity with freedom in Hollywood, made the place some kind of filmmaking authority — a position that has lasted till this day.
The weather and structure were also perfect
Film-making involves a lot of outdoor activities, so good weather condition is important for the success of any studio.
Hollywood is blessed with a friendly climate. It is never too hot or too cold, so filmmakers and actors could work outdoors at any time of the year without worrying about the effects of harsh weather conditions.
Everyone loves good weather, so this also contributed to the growth of the economy, as more and more people moved to Hollywood and settled down there with their families.
What we know as Hollywood today, has always been a beautiful environment since the 1910s. It had great views and interesting structures that looked good for the shooting of movies. And filmmakers did not hesitate to harness the lovely features of the environment.
With such an accommodating scenery in Hollywood, moviemakers did not have to work too hard to produce good movie sets. This was a huge advantage because it cut down the cost of film production and further cemented Hollywood’s authority in the movie industry.
Hollywood Golden Age
This was the period when Hollywood really became a global force in movie production. It was a time of great success for studios and massive entertainment for the viewers.
Also known as the Hollywood era, the golden age saw Hollywood record groundbreaking profits from theaters. The international recognition and respect that the whole world has for Hollywood started to gain momentum at this time.
Five powerful studios behind all the blockbuster movies of that time were tagged “the big five”. They include Warner Brothers, MGM, Paramount, Fox, and RKO.
Smaller studies like the famous Columbia pictures were also involved, but the big five were mainly responsible for the movies that rocked the golden age.
Between 1915 and just before the first world war, more genres of movies emerged in Hollywood as the industry blossomed. Though the golden age of Hollywood started with movies that did not have sound, a few years passed and movies started having sounds — which blew the already impressive success through the roof!
With the world war restricting other countries from catching up with Hollywood, it was easy for America’s Hollywood to stay ahead and even widen the gap between their success and that of any other region.
By the mid-1930s, Hollywood had become a flourishing commercial success. Movie making became the hottest business ever, and the movie industry was regarded as the most lucrative in the entire country.
The great depression did not stop people from gathering in theaters. In fact, everyone saw it as an escape route from their problems. Just think of it as the way the world embraced the internet and social media during the 2020 pandemic.
Other attractive things about Hollywood
Since the place got so glamorous, other businesses started springing up. To this day, Hollywood is a great place for tourists to chill. A lot of resources have been invested in the iconic city, so it has many side attractions that keep visitors coming.
There are numerous radio and tv stations located in Hollywood, so a lot of people like to go and see the places that host the interesting shows they always subscribe to.
You will also find amusement parks in Hollywood, so both visitors and regular residents continue to enjoy the thrills that the facility has to offer.
Since it is the home of entertainment and the center of the global film industry, there is a very high likelihood that you could run into your favorite actor in the city of Hollywood.
Indeed, Hollywood’s success goes a long way to show how humble towns could be the greatest places in the world.