History of Hollywood Blvd: It’s always been about clever branding

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Hollywood Boulevard wasn’t always where you’d come to make it in show business. It used to be “where you would come after you had made it — to enjoy the rest of your life surrounded by beautiful flowers and gardens and … be restored to health and sanity,” says journalist and local historian Hadley Meares. “(It’s) crazy to think you would be restored to health and sanity if you moved to Hollywood. Photo by Mike Schlitt.

A stroll through Hollywood history reveals over 100 years of boulevard branding. But can the “Main Street of the movies” maintain its historic integrity — and keep its small businesses alive — while absorbing billions of private investment dollars?