Human Billboard Lights Up Hollywood Boulevard

Exhibitors Herald-World, July 6, 1929:


“Probably the first human billboard ever constructed for exploitation of a motion picture was erected to publicize the opening of the M G M’s ‘Hollywood Revue of 1929’ at Grauman’s Chinese theatre.

“This sign, the letters of which were formed by living girls in scanty costumes, was erected on the busiest boulevard of Los Angeles and for five blocks in either direction the streets were roped off to traffic.

“The sign measured 40 feet in length and 35 feet high, was set on a silhouette of Hollywood’s skyline, base with an effigy of Grauman’s Chinese theatre placed in the center.  The letters in the sign spelled Hollywood Revue and were of the raised type covered with silver cloth with the girls in the channels. The whole sign was lighted with colored lights and made a striking appearance.

Bessie Love acted as master of ceremonies and pulled the cord which unveiled the display. Thousands of people who had gathered to see the display gave a thundering applause which was recorded by the newsreel photographers.”

The Hollywood Review of 1929

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.
He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2015: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc

Now selling “vintage” on Etsy