Warner Brothers pitches LA on an aerial tram to the Hollywood Sign

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One of entertainment industry’s largest and most recognizable movie studios wants to get into the transportation business.

Warner Brothers announced plans Tuesday for an aerial tram that would ferry visitors to and from the Hollywood Sign. The company would pay for the tram’s construction and would operate it from a parking lot just south of its Burbank backlot.

In a letter sent Monday to Los Angeles parks and legislative officials, the studio offers the tram as a potential solution to issues of access to the landmark.

In 2017, the city closed a popular Beachwood Canyon access point to the Hollyridge Trail, which provides some of the best views of the sign. Soon after, Councilmember David Ryu commissioned a study examining ways to alleviate traffic in neighborhoods around the sign while ensuring it remains accessible to residents and visitors.

The study included several outside-the-box recommendations, including an aerial tram or gondola and even a replica sign that would be easier for hikers to get to.

In December, Varietyreported that media mogul Barry Diller, along with his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, and her son, Alexander von Furstenberg, were considering their own plans for a tram that would take riders to and from the sign.

Now, the city has a more concrete proposal for such a system.

The Warner Brothers tram would take riders up the back of Mount Lee to an education center about the sign that the company also plans to build. Warner Brothers would charge visitors to ride the ferry and would split the revenue with the city.

The company would also pay for a new transit hub on the north side of Griffith Park from which passengers could access buses, shuttles, and the tram itself.

If city officials should pursue the proposal further, it would still need to go through an extensive environmental review process—and any related legal challenges.

Any privately funded development within Griffith Park is bound to draw plenty of public scrutiny, but Warner Brothers argues its solution is one that makes sense for the city and visitors alike.

In a statement, the company says its tram proposal would have the “least impact on the surrounding environment” and would allow easy access to the park “at no cost to the taxpayer.”

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