Our Twitter pal Emma Green (by way of Martin Turnbull) spotted this 1921 poster from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce advising young hopefuls trying their luck in Tinseltown to stay home. "Don't try to break into the movies in Hollywood," the advert warns. The HCoC tried to discourage the crowds of wannabes, but we're glad people didn't do as they were told. Who knows what talented legends would have been lost.
The poster does state that "out of 100,000 persons who started at the bottom of the screen's ladder of fame, only five reached the top," but that was all the encouragement would-be actors needed, apparently. Most of the crowds lining the streets were trying out for extra roles in "insignificant scenes," according to the poster.
If you're wondering what the heck the Chamber does, here's a bit of history. The organization was formed in October 1921 to replace the Hollywood Board of Trade and was comprised of around 2,517 movers and shakers that represented the biggest and best of the biz (owners, managers, presidents). We also have the Chamber to thank for the famous Hollywood Sign and the Walk of Fame.
Before Hollywood became a hot spot for the rich and famous it was a sleepy suburb. It's easy to imagine the excitement people felt when it was transformed into the production capital of the world where the major motion picture companies of the time (Paramount, Warner Bros., RKO, Columbia) were searching for their stars.