Home of Movie History
the hills above Los Angeles, you can see an image that
is familiar to
millions: tall, white letters spelling "HOLLYWOOD." It
is a famous symbol of the world's movie capital.
However, Hollywood wasn't always so well known. In
1853, only a single mud hut stood there. Two decades
later, the area just west of Los Angeles was a farming
It wasn't until the early 1900s that the film industry
arrived and changed Hollywood forever.
In film's early days,
most movies were made in New Jersey on the US east
coast. However, bad weather and limited sunlight made
making movies there difficult. Added to
this was the fact that Thomas Edison had patents in the
east on most filmmaking technology, and getting
permission to use it
was expensive. In the west, however, these patents were
rarely obeyed. In 1910, director D.W. Griffith arrived
in Los Angeles to film the short movie In Old
California. He loved filming there and quickly spread
the word of this great location. Cecil B. DeMille, one
of the all-time greatest directors, filmed The Squaw Man
in Hollywood in 1914. It was the west coast's first
full-length movie, a huge success, and the reason why
the film industry never left California again.
Hollywood has since grown a lot, adding famous movie
studios and becoming the center of the motion picture
world. Less well known is a film editing company called
Hollywood Digital Laboratory. When it first opened its
doors in 1911, it was called Hollywood Film Laboratory.
As Hollywood's oldest operating film company, the small
building is a different kind of Hollywood landmark
showing how the town began years ago and how far it has
come since then.