Is the Hollywood Sign Lit Up at Night?

No, the Hollywood Sign is not lit up at night and has not been for a long time. The Hollywood Sign is a fascinating tourist attraction for anyone visiting the Los Angeles area.

It is also a fascinating attraction for locals as well.

Unfortunately, however, the nearly 100-year-old sign located in Griffith Park has not been lit since 1933, due to costs and issues with the surrounding neighborhood.

Today, the Hollywood Sign remains unlit, but its fascination with locals and visitors alike has never changed.

The Hollywood Sign is not lit at night, and it hasn’t been lit at night since 1933. The largest reason for this is cost, although the sign caused a significant distraction for neighbors and traffic alike when it was lit.

The sign has undergone significant changes since it first was built in 1923 and is even called something different today than it was when it was first constructed.

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When was the Hollywood Sign lit at night?

Hollywood Sign

There are several photos, postcards, and T-shirts even, that show a fancy picture of the Hollywood Sign all lit up.

This leaves the general public to imagine that this is a thing that happens in Los Angeles and that the people who live there get to look at this every night.

They do not.

This myth or urban legend comes from movies and television shows that have popularized the now infamous Hollywood Sign.

There have been photos taken of the lit-up Hollywood Sign, but not for decades. If there are more recent photos of the Hollywood Sign that look lit up, they may be photo-shopped images of the sign.

The Hollywood Sign today is not even visible after dark. As a staple of the new Griffith Park, however, it is still a very popular tourist attraction and can be visited when you are in the area.

It once was, in 1923, when its original owner used 4,000 lights to light up the sign and the city.

Has it always been called the Hollywood Sign?

Hollywoodland Sign

In 1923, the sign was called something else as well. It was the Hollywoodland Sign back then and was owned by the Sherman Company who turned the lights off due to costs in 1933.

It is said that the Sherman Company also received significant flak from the neighborhood, and traffic below, that the lights were a distraction to both citizens and traffic.

Today, the sign has been transformed from Hollywoodland to Hollywood Sign, although Hollywoodland as the home of a thriving community that includes Griffith Park is still very much in action today.

What is the history of the Hollywood Sign?

The Hollywood Sign remained the Hollywoodland Sign and was under the ownership of the Sherman Company until 1944.

Then, the Sherman Company, who owned that land and the surrounding 400 acres, gave the land to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

By 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce began to repair the sign that had undergone over 25 years of life.

It was then that the word “land” was taken down, and the Hollywoodland Sign became the Hollywood Sign.

Chamber of Commerce

The sign was meant to honor the lives and loves of the motion picture industry. Its mystique and fascinating impacts became a global phenomenon.

This led to many visitors, and a level of wear and tear on the sign that almost became a tragedy for the sign.

It was 1978 when $250,000 was invested by movie actors, directors, and top television producers and actors that wanted to keep the sign alive.

Will the Hollywood Sign ever be lit up again?

It was decided in 1978 that the Hollywood Sign would not be lit up again, although, like every municipal decision, that could change.

There are some circumstances, such as the turn of the millennium, when that decision changes momentarily.

Today, the Chamber of Commerce still receives an extraordinary number of requests to have the sign lit up, but it is not expected to occur.

The topic itself is actually a controversial one. History is said to be the biggest driver that backs the requests to light the sign, and many advocates want the sign lit up on the night of the Academy Awards.

It probably isn’t going to happen though.

Griffith Park

There are too many logistics behind lighting up the sign. Additionally, the neighborhood around Griffith Park just doesn’t like it.

The logistics of how to utilize power efficiently is a big one in Hollywood and the world. Hollywood is known as a land where climate change is a pressing and real concern and using resources to light up a sign for entertainment value would sincerely feel frivolous to those who live there.

Why won’t they light up the Hollywood Sign?

The municipality needs to study how to bring the power to the sign, how the city will pay for that, and how to be energy-efficient at the same time.

The issue is constantly under discussion and study by the people of Hollywoodland. In addition to looking at costs, neighborhood intrusion considered by the vocal Hollywoodland Homeowners Association, and energy efficiency, the city also needs to consider the wildlife in the area.

The wildlife here includes birds that would be attracted to the light and be injured in the process of finding their way to it.

In fact, environmental issues are the most commonly cited issues by the Hollywoodland Homeowners Association regarding the Hollywood Sign.

Was the Hollywood Sign lit up during the Olympics?

Los Angeles Summer Olympics

Yes, it is one of the few times in history since the takeover of the sign that the Hollywood Sign has been lit up at night.

The sign was lit up every night during the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics but has not been lit up again.

Newspaper reports indicated stories of neighbors saying their streets and even driveways would be clogged with onlookers checking out the lit Hollywood Sign during the Summer Olympics.

In addition to the neighborhood intrusion, citizens complained about the garbage that would be left behind by onlookers from all over the world.

Some neighbors were extremely upset about it, reporting that still-lit cigarettes were thrown into the canyon beneath the sign, causing a safety concern.

The Hollywood Sign then had signs posted about extreme fire hazards with the aridity of the climate and the area, and these were ignored by visitors at the time.

They still are.

Do Hollywoodland residents dislike the Hollywood Sign?

The residents of Hollywoodland typically do not dislike the sign. They know what they are choosing when they choose to live in this exciting Los Angeles neighborhood.

They would report that despite the fact that it is still not lit, there remains a great deal of congestion and traffic around the sign.

This occurs most often during times like the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. Many don’t want it lit up though, under any circumstances.

 Golden Globes

Many residents will note that the traffic congestion poses a safety risk to them and their families.

They are also adamant about the issues it could pose against the wildlife and the environment of Griffith Park and the surrounding community.

Some residents have said they would be okay with special occasion lightings, but that they would also want environmental impact summaries if that were to happen.

Still, many residents are proud to live here and don’t hate sharing this beautiful piece of their world, with the rest of the world.

Can people still view the Hollywood Sign?

Yes, even though the Hollywood Sign is not lit up at night, it is still available to be viewed and visited by anyone.

Today, it is not possible to get very close to the sign and close enough to even touch it. The Hollywood Sign is fenced in and is meant to keep out both visitors and wildlife that might harm the sign.

It is also secured with a security system in the event that anyone tries to circumvent the fenced-in areas.

People can, and do, get charged with getting too close to the Hollywood Sign. So, if you are interested in visiting, plan your trip before you go.


There are many ways of visiting the sign, or as close to it as you can, without getting into trouble.

The sign is not difficult to get to, and you are allowed to visit it. You just can’t intentionally move past the security points.

The streets that surround the Hollywood Sign are accessible by vehicle, and there are signs pointing to the streets near the sign.

You can’t get to the street nearest the sign, but you can see it from many locations without standing right next to it.

Can you hike to the Hollywood Sign?

Many people like to go hiking to locate the sign or get near it that way. You can get there via Deronda Drive in Los Angeles.

You can get out of the car at the end of the street but be careful where you park and park legally.

Residents watch for tourists and will call to have your car towed if you park incorrectly. The Hollyridge Trail and Beachwood Drive have been other common street locations for you to access the sign.

However, many a hiker has used these locations, and the streets have now been gated off to hikers since 2017.

Beachwood Drive

The Brush Canyon Trail can offer a good hike to the Hollywood Sign, but this is a hike that is almost seven miles long.

Plan your directions before you go. The Hollywood Reservoir is another popular spot to start a hike to the Hollywood Sign and is half the hike the Brush Canyon Trail offers at three miles.

This is a lovely hike with a trail that gives lake views and views of the Hollywood Sign and may be one of the best hikes in Hollywood. It won’t be unusual if you see a hawk or a deer along the way.

What is the most common way to get to the Hollywood Sign?

The Griffith Park Observatory is perhaps the most common, and most legal way, to get close to the Hollywood Sign.

Here you can park in the parking lot and take some nice shots. The parking lot has a bust of James Dean in the lot, which offers a stunning picture of the Hollywood Sign in the background.

That is because this location in Los Angeles is the location of the last scene in Rebel Without a Cause starring James Dean.

Here, a daylight view of the sign is a sight to behold and one you will talk about forever when you get home.

The magic is real here, even without the sign lit up!

Griffith Park Observatory

In the evening, the Hollywood Sign is almost impossible to see, and it’s not a safe time to visit. Still, it is a marvel in La-La Land, even though it is only visible during daylight.

The daylight views of the sign will never be anything to complain about though.