Hef Saves Hollywood; But Who Will Save the Lamplighter’s Monte Cristo?

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s nearly-million-dollar donation has kept the land around the Hollywood sign away from the clutches of greedy developers.

While there were no plans to bulldoze  the sign itself, which stands atop Mt. Lee, The Trust for Public Land (TPL) needed to raise $12.5 million to buy 138 acres around the sign so that starry-eyed Greyhound travelers wouldn’t see McMansions cluttering up the hillside as they said goodbye to their Hollywood dreams and boarded the lonely Red Car for Porn Valley. on the other side of the sign.

Hefner’s last-minute gift of $900,000 joined donations from Tom “Bosom Buddies” Hanks and Steven “1941” Spielberg.

“It’s like saying let’s build a house in the middle of Yellowstone Park,” Hefner said of the derailed development plans. “There are some things that are more important. The Hollywood sign represents the dreams of millions. It’s a symbol. It is as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. It represents the movies.”

In 1978 the sign itself was decaying. Hefner donated money then, as did stars as diverse as Gene Autry and Alice Cooper. This year’s land purchase was comprised of donations from all 50 states and 12 countries.

While we often talk of crossover between the mainstream entertainment business and the porn industry, it is worth noting that there are fewer transactions between Playboy and the XXX business as you might think, which explains why Hef has $900,000 to drop as well as a grove of freaking redwoods at his Mansion. Myself, I’ve got this cactus peeking through the blinds at Gram Ponante Towers, Yurt, Helipad, Speedway, and Shooting Gallery.

If the Hollywood sign is to other-side-of-the-hill Los Angeles as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, what is the symbol of Porn Valley? Would you donate money for the Lamplighter to be saved?

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: The Devil in Tanner Mayes; Scenes from the class struggle in Playboy’s Penthouse
See also: Playboy

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Gram Ponante is America's Beloved Porn Journalist

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