The owner of the historic Hollywood Roosevelt hotel and a Las Vegas sign company have given up a legal battle for the right to display 6-story supergraphic ads to throngs of tourists and others on one of the busiest stretches of Hollywood Blvd.
The owner, New York-based Thompson Hotels, and the sign company, In Plain Sight Media, filed a federal court lawsuit two years ago, claiming that the city’s ban on supergraphic signs violated their constitutional rights to free speech. The sign company also sought millions in damages from the city, claiming that citations for unpermitted signs on the iconic building were making it impossible to guarantee advertisers space for display of products and services.
A company official testified in a court deposition that signs on the east and west-facing sides of the building could bring in more than $1.9 million in annual revenue. The city filed a counterclaim in the lawsuit, asking for $2,500 in penalties for each day unpermitted signs were displayed on the hotel.
The lawsuit dismissal, by agreement of both parties, ostensibly ends the saga that began more than five years ago, when In Plain Sight Media applied for permits to put up temporary signs. According to court documents, the company put up signs on that occasion and several others, even after permit applications had been rejected.
At least one of those signs was cited by the city fire department for creating a fire and life safety hazard to the occupants of the hotel, which is a registered historic site.
Thompson Hotels and In Plain Sight Media were represented in the litigation by the prominent L.A. law firm of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Mitchell. An article on the firm’s website touts its work with the city’s Office of Historic Resources in preserving the architectural qualities of another building on Hollywood Blvd.
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