Just the mention of Hollywood conjures up vivid images of a world of dreams, an enchanted place of fantastic stories about far-away lands and magical kingdoms. Often referred to as the Silver Screen, Hollywood has taken mere mortals and made them into gods, screen idols that are loved and revered all over the world. Film actors have become some of the most famous people in the world, and the association of their names with the characters that they have portrayed have made them into world icons. But what was the beginning?
The Very Start
We need to go back to 1853 for the very beginnings of Hollywood. There was a thriving agricultural community at that time. Harvey Henderson Wilcox was the biggest mover and shaker. He and his wife were real estate owners and bought a hundred and sixty acres of land at the foothills of Cahuenga Pass. If you want to know, the famous Hollywood sign on the hill was established in 1923 to advertise a new neighborhood and it was adopted by the film industry a few years later.
The First Hollywood Movie
There is no definitive evidence to support the claim of the first ever movie made in Hollywood, but it is commonly believed it was a film called The Squaw Man which was made in 1914. Another popular contender is In Old California but again this is not definite. However, by the turn of the 1920s Hollywood was already being established as the center of the film industry of America, and even the word.
The 1920s heralded in the dawn of the movie industry as a serious entertainment choice. Hollywood was churning out literally hundreds of movies every year, and the American movie fans could not get enough. At the time Hollywood as a district flourished being the home of the movie industry, it was separated completely from the rest of Los Angeles as being a chic place to live, it represented luxury and glamor.
The Creation of Movie Companies
Hollywood created the movie studio, which were independent companies that had their own identities and run by powerful men. Perhaps one of the earliest and best known is Warner Brothers, closely followed by Metro Goldwin Mayer, RKO, 20th Century Fox, and Paramount.
Each studio was its own little world, with directors and actors signed up like football players to work exclusively for that studio. This way the studios guaranteed continuity and could make sequels of box office smashes with the same actors and directors.
The Golden Age
The Golden Age of Hollywood was in the 1930s, this was to be a new era in film history as sound could now be included alongside images. This created whole new genres of films including, comedies, musicals and horror movies. Things were all about to change with war looming, but Hollywood would take its place in history producing inspiring movies as well as public service information films.