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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 05:59 GMT 06:59 UK
Tinseltown meets mid Wales town
The sign in Machynlleth
California dreaming... on a hillside above movie-mad Machynlleth
Amateur film-makers have taken inspiration from the world's movie capital and recreated the famous Hollywood sign in a mid Wales town.

The instantly recognisable white lettering spells Machynlleth, a million miles from tinseltown in every respect - except, perhaps, for a love of movies.

The sign was used to promote Machynlleth's own film festival.

The Powys lettering is 5ft (1.5m) high and the sign is 39ft (11.8m) long.

The brainchild of friends Alex Randall, Nicola Arciero, Jenny Hall, John Hedley and Mark Bloomfield, the sign is on a hillside on Pen'Rhallt Common and can be seen throughout the town - just like the one in Los Angeles.

Hollywood sign
The Hollywood sign was erected in 1923; Machynlleth's went up in the dead of night last Friday
The Hollywood letters are 50ft (15.2m) high; the Welsh versions are 5ft (1.5m)
The Hollywood letters are enamel with steel frames; Machynlleth's are made of chipboard

Made from chipboard and built in secret over 12 days, the friends put it up by torchlight last Friday, the night before the festival.

Screwed to a fence which they placed behind it, Mr Randall said the sign had had a positive reaction.

The friends' film of its construction won an award at the festival.

"The people we spoke to at the film festival thought it was a good idea," he said.

"Like the hill Hollywood is on, we thought everyone in the town would be able to see the Machynlleth sign.

"We deliberately tried to make the sign look exactly like the Hollywood original."

Jenny Hall, an architect, said: "We've had a positive response and there's a real sense of ownership from people in the town."

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