A Brief History Of Hollywood

Sunset of Los Angeles downtown Hollywood

Hollywood is one of the first things that people think of when someone mentions the film industry and great movies, the reach of Hollywood is so large that the film industry in other countries has taken inspiration from their name such as Bollywood in India and Nollywood in Nigeria. In this article, we are going to discuss the brief history of Hollywood and the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Origins of Hollywood

Hollywood became a neighborhood in the year 1903 and in 1910 the small municipality became a part of Los Angeles. Many people believe that Hollywood is where the American film industry started and took off but that is not actually the case. It was actually in Los Angeles that the film industry started booming, however, Hollywood was considered to be the more luxury and hip place to be which helped it attract investors and filmmakers.

In no time, in the small blotch of land that was Hollywood, the four biggest movie firms resided. They were Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Columbia and RKO. This fierce competition and specialization helped propel Hollywood’s image as the place to be if you wanted to make it in the movie business.

Hollywood was also the place where sound in movies finally became a thing and this led to the classic Western films, Dramas, Romance films and of course animations spearheaded by the likes of Walt Disney. Before Hollywood majority of film directors did not become famous like the main actors in the film, however that soon changed with directors getting their very own sole of personality and people interested in watching movies just because certain film directors were involved.

Famous actors and actresses during the emergence of Hollywood include Bebe Daniels who played Dorothy Gale in the original Wizard of Oz film, Douglas Banks who was one of the pioneers of the early adventure-action films. Banks starred in The Mark Of Zorro, Robin Hood and the Three Musketeers to just name a few films. Finally, you have John Barrymore who was park of classics such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Twentieth Century and the Grand Hotel. There are so many great actors and actresses during this renaissance like period during the emergence of Hollywood that unfortunately, we cannot list them all.

Why and How Did Hollywood Become so Big?

  • The weather in Hollywood was also perfect as there was such as wide diversity in climates and environments ranging from deserts, mountains, forests and also heavy raining during the winter months. These different climates were economically beneficial for the movie studios in Hollywood as they were able to shoot a lot of different scenes in different environments without needing to travel large distances.
  • There are a few big film studios in Hollywood which own and control all the means of production which allows them to create movies much more cheaply and quickly than in other places.
  • Hollywood’s success can also be put down to the amount of specialization in such a small place, this allows for actors, filmmakers, and writers to easily congregate and socialize with each other. They can share ideas and play off on each other’s strengths and weaknesses to create a team that is good enough to create a blockbuster movie.
  • The main factor that many historians that attribute Hollywood’s rise to are that of Thomas Edison’s tight control of patents which include the motion picture cameras which were needed to make movies. However, Edison was based in the East coast so he was not able to monitor and enforce his patents to all the filmmakers who fled to Hollywood where they began to thrive. Therefore it is likely that if Hollywood was based on the East coast that it is unlikely to have been as successful due to that reason.

Origins of Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame became a thing long after Hollywood established itself as a hub for the American film industry. The Hollywood Walk of Fame was started in the year 1953 with the aim of remembering and honoring the many stars that once were and currently were a major part of show business in Hollywood.

Oddly enough at first, all the stars were just temporary with the first permanent star coming into fruition in the 1960s with film director Stanley Kramer who was behind films such as the ‘Judgement at Nuremberg’ and ‘Inherit the Wind’ becoming the first permanent occupant of the boulevard.

Right now as of 2019, there are over 2,600 stars on the Walk of Fame Boulevard, with an average of 20 new stars added every year. The get a star you must sponsor yourself or be sponsored by someone else for a fee of $30,000 of which half will be non-refundable and will be used to decide if you have contributed enough in the movie industry to warrant a star.

Hollywood Today

Last year in 2018, the film industry in Hollywood alone generated yearly revenue of over $43.4 billion with the average wage in Hollywood now being $80,000 a year.

Hollywood has experienced massive changes in the past few years with the likes of Disney purchasing Marvel and the rights to Star Wars which have seen frequent sequels in both the franchises being released nearly every year. Some people are worried that a few companies are gaining too much market share which has a negative impact on entrepreneurs looking to start their own movie studio in Hollywood.

However, the biggest problems that face Hollywood are those of the ever-changing landscape of how movies are consumed, the number of people going to the cinema declining significantly since the peak of the cinema era in the 1950s to 1970s. Online streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime are making a big dent in the coffers of Hollywood as people are now able to watch all the movies available on online streaming platforms for just a small monthly fee of between $10 and $20 a month depending on the packages that you get. Regardless, both streaming and cinema based enterprises need to enure that their communications and media distribution network is working efficiently. They can do so with the help of such platforms as tableau

New stars have also come and gone, with the current biggest movie stars in the world being Dwayne Johnson, George Clooney, Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Jenniffer Lawrence. Many film stars are now branching out on new platforms such as Youtube where big actors such as Will Smith and Dwayne Johnson have channels with millions of subscribers.


Hollywood has been a global film industry hub for now close to one hundred years, the fact that it has been able to maintain this status for so long is truly extraordinary. As other big and populous countries such as India, China and Nigeria continue to become more economically developed and their citizens have more disposable income we may see their movies being imported in the Western World, but Hollywood will for the very foreseeable future remain the flagship location of anything to do with the movie industry.

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