Historic Warner Hollywood Studios to be torn down
The historic Warner Hollywood Studios, currently known as The Lot, is to be torn down, reports the Los Angeles Times (March 2012). In its place, current owner CIM Group will erect “glass-and-steel structures.” The Los Angeles area doesn’t have enough of those, does it?
The powers-that-be in the city of West Hollywood, where the Warner Hollywood Studios are located, have apparently given the go-ahead to CIM. First to go will be the Pickford Building, erected in 1927, and then the Goldwyn Building, erected in 1932. When all’s done, that’ll be the end of one more Los Angeles landmark.
Update: According to one source, not every building on The Lot will be razed.
Erected in 1919
Built in 1919 by silent era producer-director Jesse D. Hampton (The Spoilers, 1923), The Lot is located at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Formosa Avenue. Initially known as the Hampton Studios, it was later renamed the Pickford-Fairbanks Studios, the United Artists Studios, and the Samuel Goldwyn Studios.*
Warner Bros. acquired it in the 1980s – hence, the Warner Hollywood Studios moniker – but sold the property at the turn of the century. Currently, HBO’s True Blood is shot there.
Old Mary Pickford-Douglas Fairbanks studio
- Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, two of United Artists co-founders, who purchased the Hampton Studios for a reported $150,000.
- Independent producer Samuel Goldwyn, who later fought with archenemy Pickford for ownership of the lot.
- Titanic actress Gloria Stuart and Eddie Cantor in Goldwyn’s musical Roman Scandals (1933).
- Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon, the stars of Goldwyn’s William Wyler-directed Wuthering Heights (1939).
- Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, and Teresa Wright, the stars of Goldwyn’s Wyler-directed The Little Foxes (1941).
- Filmmaker Sam Peckinpah, who actually lived there at one point.
- The Some Like It Hot (1959) crowd, including Marilyn Monroe, Billy Wilder, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.
- Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, and Oscar winners Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Robert Wise, and Jerome Robbins, while working on West Side Story (1961).
More recently, among those who toiled on The Lot were:
- Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct.
- Tom Hanks in The Green Mile.
- Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality 2.
- “Historic Mary Pickford Building Destroyed.”
Marilyn Monroe Some Like It Hot image: United Artists.
Info on the Hampton Studios’ cost: Jeffrey Vance, Tony Maietta, and Robert Cushman’s Douglas Fairbanks.