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12 Jul 2018

Warner Bros proposes US$100m aerial tramway to iconic Hollywood sign
BY Tom Anstey

The sign – originally created as an advertisement for local real estate development – is a popular tourist draw but is difficult to visit up close

The sign – originally created as an advertisement for local real estate development – is a popular tourist draw but is difficult to visit up close

Warner Bros has offered up US$100m (€85.6m, £75.7m) to finance a proposed cable car system taking visiting tourists to and from the iconic Hollywood sign.

Erected in 1923, the iconic sign originally read "Hollywoodland", before the "land" was removed in 1949. The sign – originally created as an advertisement for local real estate development – is a popular tourist draw but is difficult to visit up close.

In recent years, residents of the Hollywood hills have been swamped by tourists and traffic, with the proposed tramway designed to alleviate the issue. Starting at the Warner Bros Studios in Burbank, the proposed Hollywood Skyway would climb a mile up, taking six minutes to travel to a viewing platform close to the California landmark.

With the development – which will take five years to complete – Warner Bros will be aiming to take a larger share of Los Angeles' tourism pie by offering better tourist access to the sign.

In 2015, the studio invested US$13m (€11.1m, £9.8m) into the Warner Bros Studio Tour Hollywood, which takes visitors behind the scenes of how movies and TV shows are made. The addition of the cable car, which would depart from the same location, will help to lure more tourists to both attractions. Under the proposed scheme, Warner Bros would share potential revenue with the city.

"This requires a bold solution," said Warner Bros facilities head Jon Gilbert, speaking to the Los Angeles Times.

"If we really want to make a difference, it's got to be something compelling. Partial solutions are not going to do the trick, and people will continue to inundate the neighbourhoods.

"We know the problem is getting worse, and the city is looking for a solution. We've been around a long time, we’re local, and we believe we have a good answer."

This is not the first time such a scheme has been proposed. Most recently, Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti proposed a gondola system to travel from Universal Studios. Alex von Furstenberg – an investor and the son of fashion designers Diane von Fürstenberg and Prince Egon von Fürstenberg – has also proposed such a system from the Los Angeles Zoo.



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