Before the era of computer generated imagery, early Hollywood filmmakers used a number of substances to create fake snow on set, including cotton, cornflakes and soap flakes. They also used shaved gypsum to mimic the look of real snow.
But snow isn’t the only role gypsum has played on the silver screen. One of its recurring roles is in the creation of movie sets.
Since gypsum is common in the production of sidewalks, it stands to reason that the mineral may have been cemented in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The stars are made of terrazzo, which is composed of marble chips, granite, quartz or glass and poured on a concrete base. Concrete is often bonded with Portland cement so that it can harden, and gypsum is an element in Portland cement.