This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Why the Burbank Airport is now called the Hollywood-Burbank Airport


If you're like me, familiar with the Los Angeles area, you know where Burbank is. It's actually where a lot of what we consider "Hollywood" to be, such as it's where Disney studios is, major TV studios, that sort of thing.

And there was a time, many decades ago, when Burbank gained some fame, in the 1960s, with the TV show "Laugh-In", and in the 1970s when Johnny Carson would joke about "beautiful downtown Burbank" on the Tonight Show. But really, the name Burbank doesn't have the recognition value that Hollywood does. Admit it.

To most people, Los Angels is Hollywood. Of course the reality is that Hollywood is a community in Los Angeles, south of the San Fernando Valley and west of downtown. And the name has become synonymous with movies. Angelino locals will argue that the movies were actually filmed all over the Los Angeles area, like Culver City, or the San Fernando Valley, and that's not, geographically Hollywood. But it's Hollywood to most of the world.

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Of course, like renaming anything, most old-timers will hate it. My interest in history makes me wonder about the old-timers who disliked it when Pig's Eye became St. Paul, Minnesota, or when people stopped calling the Phoenix Settlement Pumpkinville. Names are precious, and changing them can upset people.

But it's time that the name Hollywood became part of the name of the Bob Hope Airport, which is a name that never really stuck for the Burbank Airport. Hollywood is a name recognized all over the world, and it's associated with one of the things that the U.S. still does better than another other country - movies.

Speaking for myself, I like the new name, and the new logo. And I'll be buying an overpriced souvenir tomorrow, I know! Maybe a coffee cup?