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Quiz about Hollywoodland
Quiz about Hollywoodland

Hollywoodland Trivia Quiz


Lights, camera, action! The history of Hollywood is varied and interesting. Grab some popcorn and join us as we explore the history of the movie capital of the world.

A multiple-choice quiz by Team Phoenix Rising. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
tazman6619
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
415,320
Updated
Feb 11 24
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
346
Last 3 plays: Guest 4 (8/10), Queasy27 (7/10), Guest 174 (7/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. For what purpose was the original Hollywoodland sign placed on Mount Lee? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Which turn of the century inventor and industrialist tried to use patents to monopolize the early movie making industry, which in turn made Hollywood a desirable destination because it was far from his grasp? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Which film studio was the first to be built in Hollywood?


Question 4 of 10
4. United Artists was formed in 1919 on the backing of four Hollywood heavyweight names. Which of the following was *NOT* one of those four? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. In 1920, in the early days of Hollywood, the marriage of which power couple embodied the youth and optimism of the age? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Griffith Park is an enormous urban playground in Los Angeles. For whom was it named? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Sid Grauman built one of the first movie palaces in Hollywood where the first ever Hollywood premiere took place for "Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood" in 1922. What was the theme of the theater?
(Hint: Think of one of Elizabeth Taylor's most famous roles.)
Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. This movie palace, built by Sid Grauman, has become an iconic piece of Hollywood real estate and even hosted the Oscars. What is the Asian theme of this theater where the stars leave their hand and foot prints in the cement? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. There are several theories on how Hollywood got its name. What is *NOT* one of them? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. "In the Power of the Sultan" (1909), arguably the first narrative film to be fully shot in California, had a running time of approximately ten minutes.



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. For what purpose was the original Hollywoodland sign placed on Mount Lee?

Answer: As an advertisement for a housing development.

While the current sign only says Hollywood, the original was a 1923 advertisement for the Hollywoodland housing development. All the bells and whistles were brought out to make the sign noticeable from the gigantic wooden letters painted white to the 4,000 lights attached to the sign that blinked. Even a gigantic searchlight was below the sign making the unmissable even harder to miss. Originally, the sign was only going to be on display for a year and a half, but it became popular, and the community decided to leave it up.

By 1933 the lights were switched off due to the expense and in 1949 the sign had to be refurbished with the "land" part of the sign being left off. In 1978 the sign was falling apart again and shock rocker Alice Cooper organized a campaign to refurbish it once more. The decision was made to replace the wooden letters with steel to help preserve it longer. Of course, countless times the Hollywood letters have appeared in pop culture making it one of the most easily recognizable landmarks in the world.

This question was refurbished and polished by Phoenix Rising's non-shock rocker BigTriviaDawg.
2. Which turn of the century inventor and industrialist tried to use patents to monopolize the early movie making industry, which in turn made Hollywood a desirable destination because it was far from his grasp?

Answer: Thomas Edison

Edison was famous for using patents and the law to his advantage in business. A patent is only as good as the holder's willingness to defend it in court. If the holder does not exert his rights, then the patent is meaningless. Edison was wealthy enough and ruthless enough to use the patent system mercilessly. He formed the Motion Picture Patents Company, also known as the Edison Trust, in 1908 in an attempt to monopolize the early film making industry.

On the East Coast in places like New York and Chicago, Edison had the resources in place to pursue his patent rights with relative ease. The cost of enforcing his patents on the West Coast, however, was prohibitive because it would take private detectives and California lawyers to sue in the state. For this reason, many independent film makers headed west.

Beyond this, the US Ninth Circuit Court, based in San Fransisco, was not favorable to enforcing patents so early Hollywood began to flourish. It has also been postulated that the relative closeness of the Mexican border made California more attractive since the filmmakers could just head for the border to escape Edison. This, however, is more fanciful conjecture than provable fact. The distance from Edison's power base was enough to make the need to flee to Mexico highly unlikely. By 1915 the courts even in the East had ruled against Edison and his company for overreaching in what their patents protected but by that time the establishment of the film industry in California was well under way.

Phoenix Rising's tazman6619 found Edison's business practices to be patently unfair and wrote this question in solidarity with the early independent pioneers of the movie industry.
3. Which film studio was the first to be built in Hollywood?

Answer: Nestor Film Company

The driving force behind Nestor was an English immigrant named David Horsley, who'd shifted his family from Durham in England to New Jersey near the turn of the twentieth century. Blessed with an entrepreneurial mind, he set up a pool and bicycle sales and repair business in New Jersey. In 1907, he met with Charles Gorman, an actor who was working for Biograph studios, and this provided the inspiration to start up his own film studio. Along with his brother, William, they created the Centaur Film Company.

The company was a very small "independent" operation that improvised making movies, processed film in a bathtub and used the bicycle shop as its production house. Their fortunes began to change when they met with Al Christie, soon to be a comedy kingpin, and Francis Ford, the elder brother of famed film director John Ford. Together they struck gold with their 1910 comedy series "Mutt and Jeff".

The east coast, however, contained numerous issues for Centaur to contend with. Primarily, these included the patent war with Thomas Edison's rogue nation, the Motion Picture Patents Company, which placed restrictions on their equipment use and increased their costs. This coupled with the harsh winters in the region made filming outdoors extremely difficult. The consequence of this saw the team form the Nestor Film Company, to be Centaur's branch on the west coast of the United States. The company was formed in 1909 and, two years later, they'd built the first permanent studio facility in Hollywood. In 1912, they, and a host of other independents, merged to form Universal Studios, who would continue to use the Nestor brand name until 1920.

This question was written by Phoenix Rising's pollucci19 who wonders, if they'd named it Elliot Nestor Film Company, if they would have been "untouchable"... yeah, I know, it's pretty lame.
4. United Artists was formed in 1919 on the backing of four Hollywood heavyweight names. Which of the following was *NOT* one of those four?

Answer: David O. Selznick

It was on February 5, 1919 that four key personalities, Pickford, Griffith, Chaplin and the man destined to be Pickford's second husband, Douglas Fairbanks, stood before a set of cameras to put their signatures on the document that would create United Artists. To understand why this was termed as a "rebellion against established producing and distribution arrangements", one needs to go back to the start of that decade to identify how this artistic brew was concocted.

By the start of the 1910s film making was shaping up as being a highly lucrative business. The whole operation of film could be summed up as three separate legs - production, exhibition, and distribution. One of the early pioneers in this was Hungarian born filmmaker Adolph Zukor, founder of the Famous Players Film Company, who got rich promoting a scheme called "block booking". How this worked was as follows... if a theatre wished to purchase (for example) a Mary Pickford film from Famous Players, they would be required to purchase all of the Famous Players' films for that year. This could number in the hundreds and there was no consideration to quality. Naturally, this would irk someone like Pickford who felt that her name and star power was being used to sell inferior product and someone else was getting rich on it.

The initial consequence of this was the creation of First National. This was a co-operative between 26 theatre operators that formed in 1917, which allowed them to buy and distribute films at a significantly better rate. The venture proved to be extremely successful and within 12 months some 600 theatres had joined the co-op. So, First National decided to up the ante and went into film production, forming First National Pictures. Their first signed actor was "America's Sweetheart", Mary Pickford, who was promised a salary of $1.5 million and promised "complete artistic control". This soon enticed the likes of Griffith and Chaplin.

Jump forward to January 1919 and Chaplin goes to the First National board seeking an increased budget for his next project. He was denied. Suddenly the words "complete" and "artistic control" seemed to have become separated. This might not have gained any further traction if not for a rumour that had surfaced that First National and Paramount Pictures were planning a merger. The realization that arose from this was that there would be a clampdown on salaries - the stars would no longer be able to play one studio off against the other for a bigger payday.

The end result was that the four stars got together, put up their own money, and created United Artists. Their creed was that there would be no hindrance to film making amongst them, not even from themselves. There had been a fifth party involved in this collusion, western star William S. Hart but, when he was offered a hindrance free license and a $200,000 per film pay day by Zukor, he pulled out and signed the deal with Famous Players.

This question was created by Phoenix Rising's pollucci19 who considers his teammates be united artists.
5. In 1920, in the early days of Hollywood, the marriage of which power couple embodied the youth and optimism of the age?

Answer: Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks

Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were the original Hollywood power couple and married in 1920, while the other three choices married at a much later date. Both stars were married at the time they started their affair and were concerned about the flack they would get from the public; however, their popularity won the day, and their marriage was considered feel-good. Their 1920 wedding itself was a small private affair, but the honeymoon in Europe was a sensation. The happiness of their marriage lasted for almost ten years before the two became suspicious of each other being unfaithful. Rather than reconcile, they both went full force and indeed did become unfaithful which led to a divorce in 1936.

This bouquet of a question was caught by BigTriviaDawg of Phoenix Rising.
6. Griffith Park is an enormous urban playground in Los Angeles. For whom was it named?

Answer: A Welsh-born gold speculator

Griffith Park was gifted to the people of Los Angeles by Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, an industrialist who made his fortune as a mining expert. Although he adopted the moniker of "Colonel," there is no evidence he actually ever attained that rank. He was later jailed in San Quentin for two years for the crime of shooting his wife; she survived with severe injuries and divorced him after the incident. The park is over 4500 acres, and includes the famous Griffith Observatory, the Greek theater, the Hollywood sign and over 70 miles of trails. It affords a spectacular view of the city and has featured as a backdrop for many movies.

Phoenix Rising member pusdoc has gone birding in Griffith Park and flew this question into the quiz.
7. Sid Grauman built one of the first movie palaces in Hollywood where the first ever Hollywood premiere took place for "Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood" in 1922. What was the theme of the theater? (Hint: Think of one of Elizabeth Taylor's most famous roles.)

Answer: Egyptian

Taylor is famous, or perhaps infamous, for playing "Cleopatra" in 1963. Grauman's first movie palace was the Million Dollar Theater built in 1918. He then teamed up with Charles E. Toberman and built Grauman's Egyptian Theatre. Other notable premieres at the palace were Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments" in 1923, another Douglas Fairbanks film in 1924 "The Thief of Bagdad", and Charlie Chaplin's "The Gold Rush" in 1925.

The Egyptian closed in 1992 and it began to quickly deteriorate. In order to save it, the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles sold it to the American Cinematheque, an independent, non-profit cultural organization, for $1 provided the organization restored the landmark building. American Cinematheque invested $12.8 million in renovating the building. In 2020, the Egyptian was sold to Netflix who restored the building to its original appearance from the 1920s. Netflix hosts events Monday through Thursday while the American Cinematheque still hold events Friday through Sunday.

This question was drafted and submitted on papyrus by Phoenix Rising member tazman6619.
8. This movie palace, built by Sid Grauman, has become an iconic piece of Hollywood real estate and even hosted the Oscars. What is the Asian theme of this theater where the stars leave their hand and foot prints in the cement?

Answer: Chinese

After the success he found with the Egyptian, Grauman decided to build an even more expensive theater. The Egyptian had cost $1 million in 1922 and Grauman's Chinese Theatre initially cost $2.1 million to construct. Grauman's partners in the theater were Hollywood royalty - Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, among others. The theater opened with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's "The King of Kings" in 1927. It has hosted many premieres over the years including "Star Wars" in 1977. It also hosted the Academy Awards in 1944, 1945, and 1946.

The courtyard is famous for having the handprints and footprints of many famous movie stars from the 1920s to the present. Exactly how the tradition came about is unknown as there are several different origin stories. Two men became famous in their own right as the guardians of the process. The original "Mr. Footprint" was Jean Klossner who performed the ceremonies from 1927 to 1957. In the 1950s, John Tartaglia became known as "Hollywood's Master Mason" and he handled the duties for 35 years. His last set of footprints were those of Eddie Murphy in 1987.

This question was set in cement by Phoenix Rising member tazman6619.
9. There are several theories on how Hollywood got its name. What is *NOT* one of them?

Answer: Named after Hollywood, Florida

H. J. Whitley, a property developer, arranged to buy 500 acres around what is now known as Hollywood, 10 miles east of the Los Angeles City centre. Later on, in 1887, Harvey H. Wilcox, who purchased 120 acres of the development officially established the name 'Hollywood' when he recorded it on the land's deed. Wilcox's wife Daeida is quoted as saying "I chose the name Hollywood simply because it sounds nice and because I'm superstitious and holly brings good luck." One theory is she learned the name from a friend Ivar Weid, who lived in 'Holly Canyon' and she recommended a slightly different name to her husband. Another version claimed that Daeida met a man on a train who lived in an Illinois estate called 'Hollywood,' There is no evidence to support either of these claims.

The Hollywood Hotel was built in 1902. Their publicity said the name came from the Toyon bush (Heteromeles arbutifolia) that grew profusely in the area. Toyon plants are covered in small red berries in autumn and winter months and look just like the holly plants that grew in the eastern United States.

There is some evidence from a page out of the diary of Whitley himself. One entry in 1886 documented Whitley standing at the peak of a hill when a man came by with a wagon carrying wood. The man stopped to talk explaining to Whitley that he was 'hauling wood.' However, the man was a foreigner, and had a thick accent causing Whitely to believe he heard 'holly wood.' After hearing these words, Whitley was inspired; attributing 'holly' to represent England, while 'wood' could represent his Scottish ancestry. From there it is believed "Hollywood" travelled to Ivar Weid who mentioned it to Daeida Wilcox who then with her husband, named the Wilcox estate "Hollywood".

The question was written by a confused 1nn1 of Team Phoenix Rising, who only knows for sure that Hollywood, Florida was named after Hollywood, California.
10. "In the Power of the Sultan" (1909), arguably the first narrative film to be fully shot in California, had a running time of approximately ten minutes.

Answer: TRUE

Whilst some may put forth the argument that "The Heat of a Race Tout" (1909) had won that race, most scholars tend to agree that "In the Power of the Sultan" (also known as "The Power of the Sultan") is the first film to be shot in its entirety in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. It was hastily shot in two days in May of 1909, as noted, had a run time of almost ten minutes and is, nowadays, considered a "short", and was released for public viewing by mid-June of the same year.

Directed by Francis Boggs, the film tells the tale of an American traveler who falls for a French woman, only to find that she has been promised to a despicable Turkish nobleman. Jack Thornton, played by Hobart Bosworth, is the hero who falls for the helpless heroine and, ultimately, leads the revolt against the Sultan.

However, more interesting than the film is that of Bosworth and his involvement in the film. Trained as a Shakespearean actor, he could no longer find work in the theatre as tuberculosis had impacted on his rich baritone voice. Film was a medium that he looked down upon, but his financial circumstances and some sweet talking saw him commit. He became thoroughly dismayed when he appeared at the "studio" for filming only to find that it was nothing more than a vacant block behind a Chinese laundromat and that the backdrop was a set of sheets hung up on the laundry's clothesline. More attuned to facing an audience he felt humiliated having to face a single camera with only the one person to watch him perform.

Bosworth was paid $125 for two days work, a princely sum for him at the time, and, in the process, became a part of Hollywood's cinema history. California had borne witness to the first narrative picture filmed entirely within its location... it would not be the last.

This question was scripted by Phoenix Rising's pollucci19 who has been invested with the power of the Dancing Bear.
Source: Author tazman6619

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor gtho4 before going online.
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