The Los Angeles Times reports that Warner Bros., a company that has become significantly active in out-of-the-box cinema like shows about comic book superheroes, has now proposed erecting an aerial tram, that would be called the Hollywood Skyway, to transport tourists from its Burbank studio directly to a visitor's center at the famous Hollywood sign on Mt. Lee. The price tag of this venture is a whopping $100 million. The idea is to reduce tourist traffic to the area by creating an expeditious way to approach and view the sign.

Traffic to the Hollywood sign has created a nuisance

Lonely Planet reports that neighborhood residents residing near Mt. Lee complain that their streets have become the equivalent of parking lots for tourists planning to make the hike to the Hollywood sign. In fact, after complaints from a stable near the sign, one of the shortest trails used by tourists to hike up to it was closed to reduce traffic. With trails closing and neighbors complaining, Warner Bros. is now proposing a six-minute tramway that would take tourists, from its nearby lot directly to the Hollywood sign, bypassing trails and directing parking to the Warner Bros. lot rather than the streets of adjacent neighborhoods. Of course, it cannot be ignored that the tram would also attract visitors to Warner Bros.


The Hollywood sign is an icon of the film industry

Hollywood is always pushing the envelope, repurposing older material and bringing it to life on the screen. For example, Hollywood will soon portray its first plus-sized superhero from 1990s comics just as it re-envisions its iconic sign from the 1920s. According to Lonely Planet, the Hollywood sign's association with the silver screen was not actually part of its original purpose.

The sign was designed to advertise a real estate Development in 1923 and said "HOLLYWOODLAND" (not "HOLLYWOOD"). It was to be torn down within 18 months. Yet the sign remained on Mt. Lee, as it does today, conjuring the magic of the movies and those who bring them to life. In 1949, the "LAND" section of the Hollywood sign was removed and it began to look more like it does currently.

However, the sign has gone through several renovations and reconstructions, including a total overhaul in the 1970s (after a fundraising campaign by Hugh Hefner). Now Warner Bros. may add its own mark to the sign by building a futuristic tramway that will ascend Mt. Lee, reducing traffic for locals, and making the sign more accessible to tourists, especially those with disabilities who may not be able to climb the existing hiking trails. The tram remains in the proposal phase, and its development is not yet set in stone, but it, like the Hollywood sign itself, is already capturing the imagination of movie lovers everywhere.