LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — One of Tinseltown’s most recognizable stars is ready for its close-up.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports crews on Monday will begin to give the Hollywood sign its most extensive refurbishing in decades.

The landmark — which has sat atop Mount Lee in the Santa Monica Mountains since 1978 — will be stripped, pressure-washed, and then refinished with nearly 400 gallons of primer and white paint.

Crews will also scrape, sand, and repaint the back of the 45-foot-tall sign.

But while some say the renovation is long overdue, others in Hollywood said the city should go even further to shine a spotlight on its most famous star.

“I know the local residents don’t want it, but you go to New York, you’ve got all the lights down Broadway and Times Square,” said one man. “You come out here to downtown Hollywood, it’s kind of boring…put some lights on it for a couple of hours.”

Another resident said lighting the sign could mean potential dollar signs for the city.

“Light it, because then you could see it at night, because it’s Hollywood, tourists, money, all the good things,” he said.

The notion does have some historical precedent: the original sign — which initially read “Hollywoodland” — at one time featured 4,000 20-watt bulbs about 8 inches apart and blinked intermittently throughout the night.

The renovation is expected to take between 8 to 10 weeks to complete.


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