Hollywood was a nineteenth-century agricultural district in Los Angeles, California, that entrepreneur H. H. Wilcox transformed into America's cinematic heartland. For some, it is synonymous with the Americanization of the culture industry—that is, the production and distribution of cultural works, such as movies and television shows. Wilcox bought the district (initially named Rancho La Brea and inhabited by Amerindians) in 1886 and, together with his wife, converted newly christened “Hollywood” into a village. Within a few years, the Wilcoxes had devised a grid plan to turn the area into a flourishing community with a paved Prospect Avenue (today known as Hollywood Boulevard) and lots that were marketed primarily to Midwesterners to build residential properties. The community became part of the city of Los Angeles in ...

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