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Angelyne Wants To Bring Back Her Billboards, And You Could Be On One Of Them
Angelyne, one of the first people to become famous for proclaiming herself as famous, had once loomed over Hollywood by way of billboards. For the most part, the advertisements weren't promoting anything specific—there wasn't a fashion line, or an upcoming TV special—they simply pitched Angelyne (usually clad in a very pink and very sparse outfit) without any context whatsoever. As one L.A. Times writer put it in 1995, "I have lived in Los Angeles all my life, I have seen Angelyne billboards almost every day for 10 years and I have no idea who this woman is."
The billboards started cropping up around the mid 80s, and they remained a presence through the 90s and early 2000s. But then they disappeared and L.A. lost one of its defining hallmarks—it's been seven years since the last one.
Those billboards may be coming back, however: Angelyne and her team have started an Indiegogo campaign to fund the return of the towering advertisements. The aim is to finance at least five billboards around the city. The goal has been set at $5000, though she'll likely need more, according to Reuters, as it can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 a month to place a billboard in a desirable location in Los Angeles.
An Angelyne billboard in 1997. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Through the campaign, interested parties can pay $15 for an Angelyne photo, or $100 for a one-on-one phone call with The Pink One. If you're a true Icarus and want to fly as close to the sun as possible, you can offload $25,000 to be on one of the (hypothetical) billboards. No, you won't get your photo on it. And your name only gets mentioned as a sponsor, but still, you're on an Angelyne billboard!
But why is the campaign cropping up now? After a years-long hiatus? "There's two reasons that come to mind," Angelyne told LAist. "One is that everybody's been coming up to me and saying 'I loved your billboards, where have they gone?', and the other reason is that I haven't had one in seven years, and it's like the seven-year itch for me." She says that, in an ideal world, she'd like to get the first billboard up in a couple months. The first board will be a "seedling"—a kind of testing of waters—to see what happens next. Her most coveted spot would be on Sunset Boulevard (where else?), but she's open to different locales at the moment.
In 1987. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
She adds, however, that the billboards aren't really for her, and in fact there's no pragmatic reason for her to put them up. "I'm so well-known and so iconic. I just don't feel the need to put up more billboards," said Angelyne. She says that the advertisements are actually for her admirers. "I'm just doing it for my fans. This is for them. And it'd be great if they pull it together and make it happen for them," said Angelyne. But how, exactly, are the billboards a benefit for the viewer, especially when they're not pitching a practical service of any kind? Angelyne maintains that the boards do, indeed, provide a service to the community at large. It's all about the ineffable magic that's been ascribed to Hollywood ever since its inception. "People say that they feel inspired by the billboards. They say that it reminds them that they can do what they want to do, and it inspires them to be their best version of themselves. I'm an inspiration; that's what I hear," said Angelyne.
Even though it's been decades since the first Angelyne billboard popped up, the star still remains a fixture around town. It seems that every few months we encounter some mention of Angelyne (like when she offered one of her famous pink Corvettes to bidders last year), and she's likely dropped in on your Instagram at some point, depicted as driving the said Corvette, or sipping a cup of her personalized drink at Coffee Bean (it's called "Angelyne"), or both. As Los Angeles changes, Angelyne remains a kind of timeless totem that reminds you that you're still under the hazy, glittering canopy of the City of Angels.
As for what Angelyne thinks of L.A. today, she says it's all good to her. "I adapt and make things work the way they are. I still do a lot of driving, which sprinkles the pink all over the place," said Angelyne. "I just want to make it as best as it can be with the tools that we have. I made it awesome back then. I made it awesome in the 90s. And I can do it now."
"If I were a cave girl back in cave man days, I would have figured out something back then," she added. "I probably would have had a pink fur outfit."