The Los Angeles Strip has a long and storied history with many future bands and other celebrities getting their start within its many clubs. As part of this history, Sunset Boulevard was once known for its outlandish billboards and other signage. Over time, this tradition has fallen to the wayside, but some are pushing to bring The Strip back to its former glory.

Making the Push for Fun Signage on The Strip

As documented by photographer Robert Landau in his book Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip, the billboards on Sunset Boulevard were quite outlandish during the late 1960s and 1970s. Today, there may occasionally be a billboard with a unique feature, but most are run-of-the-mill normal billboards without any extra flair. To change this, the city’s Community Development Department has presented some ideas to the West Hollywood City Council. Namely, the department would like to see some rules put in place that would require billboards on The Strip to be wild works of art with unique features that keep with the reputation of the area.

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According to their proposal, all billboards and tall walls, which are giant signs on the sides of buildings, will be required to have at least one of the following:

  • Three-dimensional props and extensions
  • Extensions featuring voids or cut-out shapes
  • Moving or animated mechanical elements
  • Integrated thematic lighting
  • Different images in the day-time and night-time
  • Graphics that are hand-painted or crafted on-site
  • Alternative materials and textures, such as plants and vegetation
  • Live action
  • Use of innovative technologies

While the rules call for adding extensions, the proposal further calls for placing limits on those extension to ensure the area “has a unique shape” and is artful as opposed to simply making the sign bigger. Ultimately, the goal is to use creativity, originality and humor in order to inspire a “smile in the mind” of those who pass by the signs

Developing the Sunset Strip

The proposals for new and innovative billboards and other signs is only one step the Community Development Department has planned. This fall, the group is planning to present a bigger plan for further development. Spanning over a mile-and-a-half from West Hollywood’s eastern border with Hollywood at Havenhurst Drive to its western border with Beverly Hills at Sierra Drive, The Strip is the best-known section of Sunset Boulevard. The area currently features a variety of restaurants, boutiques, nightclubs and rock clubs known for being on the cutting edge of the entertainment industry.

Located outside of the Los Angeles city limits, The Strip was once an unincorporated area falling under the jurisdiction of the County of Los Angeles. This helped lend to the wild reputation of the region because it fell under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Department rather than the LAPD. As a result, the area was once home to number of casinos, as gambling was not allowed in the city but was permitted in the county. Today, the area remains a popular destination for those who are looking for a great nightlife scene.

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(all data current as of 10/19/2017)

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