Early Paramount Studios (Images of America)
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For over 100 years, Paramount Pictures has been captivating movie and television audiences worldwide with its alluring imagery and compelling stories. Arising from the collective genius of Adolph Zukor, Jesse L. Lasky, and Cecil B. DeMille during the 1910s, Paramount Pictures is home to such enduring classics as Wings, Sunset Boulevard, The Ten Commandments, Love Story, The Godfather, the Indiana Jones series, Chinatown, Forrest Gump, Braveheart, Titanic, and Star Trek. Early Paramount Studios chronicles Paramounts origins, culminating in the creation and expansion of the lot at 5555 Melrose Avenue, the last major motion picture studio still in Hollywood.
1926. The dismantling of the old Selma Avenue and Vine Street lot continues in these photographs with workers taking down the infrastructure of an old stage. The property where Jesse L. Lasky produced hundreds of motion pictures during the previous 12 years was subdivided, becoming the Hollywood Palladium theater, businesses, and, to the horror of Hollywood historians who rue the paving of paradise, parking lots. This plot of land, like most of Hollywood, suffered from urban blight for decades.
which has since been closed to vehicular traffic. Below is the opposite side of the building, which borders an area known as Production Park. This area has several production offices as well as a three-story row of dressing rooms, which was probably the only place in Hollywood where actors traditionally tried to work their way down. That’s because the top floors were used for extras, the middle floors for better-known contract players, and the bottom floors, which were usually better air
Paramount Pictures, Late 1930s. Paramount closed out the rugged decade of the 1930s after having completed 26 years of making some of the finest and most successful motion pictures in early cinematic history. Despite riding the roller coaster of change in the world’s most volatile industry, the Paramount logo, seen above with its original 24 stars, was still being seen daily in theaters around the world, just as it is today (with slight modifications). Despite a decade-long Great Depression, the
nationwide basis. He called it the Paramount Distributing Corporation, taking the name from an apartment building he passed in New York. One day, while doodling at his desk, Hodkinson came up with a sketch of the snowcapped mountain that, with several modifications over the years, is still used to this day as the corporate logo. Hodkinson’s plan included enticing several independent producers 8 to distribute their films through Paramount on a 65–35 basis, meaning that the producers kept 65
percent of the take, with 35 percent going to Paramount. Hodkinson included Famous Players and the Lasky Feature Play Company in the Paramount distribution network, making both Zukor and Lasky members of the board of directors. That same year, Famous Players moved west to Hollywood, leasing space at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Gower Street at the former home of the Oz Film Manufacturing Company. During the same year, Lasky expanded the barn and acquired the Providencia Ranch near