California and Its Film Industry

The state of California was at the centre of the world’s growth in the film industry. In the early stage of the process Europe was keeping pace with the USA with the development in these industries in parts of Southern England. However, once the film industry became established in Hollywood the natural environment of the region made it the perfect location for the business.

The Nester Motion Picture Company

The Nester Motion Picture Company

The Nester Motion Picture Company

The first studio to locate in Hollywood was Nestor Motion Picture Company in 1912. The company’s started to travel to the region for a number of reasons. Firstly to escape the picture patents that the Thomas Edison’s company held in New Jersey, and secondly the region provided a large number of outstanding back drops for movies to be filmed. The different landscapes and the perfect environment made it the perfect place for films to be produced in. Also these reasons were an added bonus for the people working in the films to live in and many were happy to “up sticks” and relocate to California. By the 1920s Hollywood became the 5th largest industry in the nation and the film industry rose with Hollywood getting bigger and bigger. New companies started to establish themselves in the area, including Paramount, Warner Brothers, RKO and Columbia.

The original Hollywoodland sign

The original Hollywoodland sign

The original Hollywoodland sign

The Hollywood sign was first erected in the Hollywood Hills in 1923 but had LAND on the end of it. This was removed in 1949 as the local council wanted the sign referring to the area and not the housing development. The bigger the film companies became the more money came into the area through associated businesses. The rich were now present in this part of the city and now houses were getting bigger, hotels were becoming more luxuriant and the best retail outlets in the world were opening up shops in the region. The success of the film industry was having a huge impact on the local economy and people were coming to Los Angeles in the hope of catching a glimpse of the movie stars who were working in Hollywood. As the area grew it also attracted both television and the music industry. In recent times the area has seen much regeneration as the older sites have become worn and not fit for the purpose of modern day media. Many of the older buildings have been revitalized so that they are now the home to modern day digital and cable television, as well as traditional film making studios.

Even Mickey Mouse has his own star on Hollywood Boulevard

Even Mickey Mouse has his own star on Hollywood Boulevard

Even Mickey Mouse has his own star on Hollywood Boulevard

The area acts as a huge tourist attraction as people visit Hollywood to see where all of the famous films have been made. A popular place to visit is the Hollywood Walk of Fame which was created in 1958. This comprises of more than 2600 five-pointed terrazzo and bronze stars that are embedded in the pavement along Hollywood Boulevard. Each star represents an actor, or musician, or director, or anyone else who have been a major “name” in Hollywood. The Boulevard is visited by around 10 million visitors every year and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is responsible for updating and maintaining the area. The success of Hollywood has had a knock on effect all over the city of Los Angeles. There are numerous cinemas in the city where the opening nights for the new movies are shown. There seems to be a real attraction of watching the opening night in Los Angeles rather than anywhere else in the country. There are certain cinemas that are the best in the country. The TCL Chinese Theatre was built in 1927 and is home to numerous Chinese artefacts. The huge 94 by 46 screen has screened many red carpet events and this is one of Hollywood’s most popular venues.

Celebrity’s houses backing onto the Pacific Ocean in Malibu

Celebrity’s houses backing onto the Pacific Ocean in Malibu

Celebrity’s houses backing onto the Pacific Ocean in Malibu

California is now home to many people who have made their living from the entertainment business. The region has everything that people with money can want. The beaches along the Pacific Coast High Way are lined with the homes of the stars as Santa Monica feeds into Malibu and many of the celebrities seeking the views overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The area is not far from the wilderness that many people crave with California offering desert, mountainous and also skiing landscapes. One special desert region became particularly popular with the country’s citizens as a result of its relaxed gambling laws, and the city of Las Vegas emerged. It became a flurry of activity and many of Los Angeles residents purchased quick flights to take advantage of the various casinos that had emerged. Many of Hollywood’s stars have enjoyed the freedom that this gave them. However, the creation of on-line gambling has meant that they no longer need to travel to famous casinos such as Morongo as they are able to enjoy the wide variety of games that are on offer online. Once again Hollywood leads the way in entertainment in the United States. It has been estimated that the creative industries around Hollywood bring in around 290 billion dollars into California each year. California is one of the richest economic regions in the world and while it does not rely entirely on Hollywood for its success there is no doubt that the area has benefited greatly from the success of this entertainments empire over the years.