Sanford Griffith

Sanford Griffith

Sanford Griffith was born in 1893. He studied at Heidelberg University but on the outbreak of the First World War he fled to France and joined the French Army. In 1918 he transferred to the US Army. Griffith reached the rank of major and was involved in interrogating German prisoners.

In 1920 he was employed as a journalist by New York Herald Tribune as a European correspondent based in Germany and Italy. In 1927 he moved to London where he worked for the Wall Street Journal. After the death of his wife in 1934 he moved back to the United States and became director of consumer research projects for a company called Miller Franklin.

In 1940 Griffith was recruited by William Stephenson, the head of British Security Coordination (BSC). He now established his company Market Analysts Incorporated and was commissioned to carry out polls for the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies. The organisation was headed by William Allen White who gave an interview to the Chicago Daily News about his intentions: "Here is a life and death struggle for every principle we cherish in America: For freedom of speech, of religion, of the ballot and of every freedom that upholds the dignity of the human spirit... Here all the rights that common man has fought for during a thousand years are menaced... The time has come when we must throw into the scales the entire moral and economic weight of the United States on the side of the free peoples of Western Europe who are fighting the battle for a civilized way of life." It was not long before White's organization had 300 chapters nationwide.

Francis Adams Henson, a long time activist against the Nazi Germany government, was Griffith's assistant: "My job was to use the results of our polls, taken among their constituents, to convince on-the-fence Congressmen and Senators that they should favor more aid to Britain." Bill Ross-Smith, a BSC agent worked with Griffith in 1940: "Sandy was a cheerful confident American utterly devoted to awakening American Opinion. He lived near Lloyd's Neck Long Island, where I once visited him for Sunday lunch." Charles Howard Ellis, assistant-director of the BSC was according to Griffith's son, was another visitor to the family home.

During this period Griffith produced a memo for the people who worked for him on British intelligence tactics for black propaganda: "Make selections from material to supply specific needs of individual editors, radio commentators and columnists. Use personal approach through best existing contacts to a large number of newspaper people rather than using broadside routine releases or giving news exclusively with a single paper. Tie-in attacks with current events. Study, and where necessary create, incidents which give sufficient news pegs on which to hang a story."

In the autumn of 1940 Griffith and Henson was given the task of helping to defeat leading isolationist Hamilton Fish. Christopher T. Emmet, who worked for Griffith, commented: If we can defeat Fish, who has been considered invincible for twenty years, we will put the fear of God into every isolationist senator and congressman in the country." Fish was a member of the America First Committee (AFC) the most powerful isolationist group in the United States. The AFC had four main principles: (1) The United States must build an impregnable defense for America; (2) No foreign power, nor group of powers, can successfully attack a prepared America; (3) American democracy can be preserved only by keeping out of the European War; (4) "Aid short of war" weakens national defense at home and threatens to involve America in war abroad.

Fish was also a supporter of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Government in Germany. He hoped that the German Army would invade the Soviet Union and therefore destroy international communism. He had met with Joachim Ribbentrop in Norway and made a public statement that Hitler had "just" territory claims in Europe. Fish used his office to distribute copies of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. When he was accused of antisemitism, he replied, "It doesn't bother me any. There's been too much Jewism going around anyway."

Hamilton Fish was the ranking Republican Party on the House Rules Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee and was considered a dangerous politician. The Nonpartisan Committee to Defeat Hamilton Fish shared the same office as Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies. Henson contacted Ernest Cuneo and suggested that he used his friends, Walter Winchell and Drew Pearson, to attack Fish in the press. On 21st October, 1940, Pearson published an article suggesting that Nazis were subsidizing Fish through inflated rents they were supposedly paying him for property. Fish replied that: "Drew Pearson, in my opinion, is the most contemptible, dishonest, and dishonorable smear propagandist in America and by inference the most colossal liar in the nation." Despite this smear campaign, Fish won the election.

The American First Committee was dissolved four days after the Japanese Air Force attacked Pearl Harbor on 7th December, 1941. Hamilton Fish later recalled: "Franklin Roosevelt took us into a war without telling the people anything about it. He served an ultimatum which we knew nothing about. We were forced into the war. It was the biggest cover-up ever perpetrated in the United States of America. But in 1941, December 8, the day after the Japanese. I made the first speech ever made in the halls of Congress over the radio. I'd been speaking every week to keep us out of war. The day after the attack, as ranking member of the rules committee, it was my duty to speak first. I damned the Japs and upheld Roosevelt's day of infamy. I called on all noninterventionists to go into the army until we defeated the Japs. For fifteen minutes I talked to twenty-five million people. People told me they cried after. I made the only speech because I took up the whole time allotted."

Fish's previously pro-Nazi views made him unpopular with the American public. In 1944 Sandy Griffith and Francis Adams Henson made another attempt to defeat Fish. Griffith sent out another memo: "Whenever Fish pushes into the news provide the Press with data showing Fish up as out of step with his constituents. Pin on the pro-Nazi and obstructionist labels. Cooperate with the Administration and hostile colleagues to assure their ganging up on Fish whenever he obstructs." This time they were successful and Fish was defeated by the liberal politician, Augustus W. Bennet. Fish said in his election-night concession speech that "my defeat should be largely credited to Communistic and Red forces from New York City backed by a large slush fund probably exceeding $250,000."

Sanford Griffith died in 1974.

Whenever Fish pushes into the news provide the Press with data showing Fish up as out of step with his constituents. Cooperate with the Administration and hostile colleagues to assure their ganging up on Fish whenever he obstructs.

15 Big Facts About Sanford and Son

Based on the British series Steptoe and Son, Sanford and Son starred veteran comic Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford, a frequently-scheming junk dealer, and Demond Wilson as Lamont Sanford, his son and co-worker, and the family peacemaker. Here are some facts about the seminal series to read before "The Big One" strikes.


Cleavon Little (Blazing Saddles) was approached to work on the project, but had to say no because of prior commitments. He suggested Redd Foxx, his co-star in Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970). In the film, Foxx played a junk dealer.


Demond Wilson caught the attention of executive producer Bud Yorkin during a guest appearance on All in the Family in 1971, where he played a burglar who broke into Archie Bunker's house. "I thought about it long and hard and decided to take a chance," Wilson later said of saying yes to Sanford and Son. "Redd and I thought we could grab some quick cash, plus notoriety, then move onto the next project.”


Wilson and Foxx first met each other in Las Vegas, where Foxx was doing stand-up. Four days after their first reading together, they performed in front of the All in the Family cast, where a visiting NBC vice president witnessed the future and ordered a pilot. Yorkin claimed he was unable to get any CBS officials to watch Foxx and Wilson's rehearsals. "It was one of the stupidest things I did at CBS," the network's then-president Fred Silverman admitted. "We had All in the Family on the air and Bud and Norman [Lear] came in with the idea, and it was called Steptoe and Son. They failed to mention that Redd Foxx was on it, or that it was going to be a black show. They never said that. And they just described it and I said, 'Well, I don't understand, you are selling us a show we already have. I mean, we have All in the Family and this sounds like Archie and Meathead."


Quincy Jones was skeptical of Sanford and Son, because he had worked with Foxx decades earlier in shows, and recalled not one word out of the comedian's mouth being appropriate for NBC. "I just wrote what he looked like," Jones said about his composition "The Streetbeater," the series' theme song. "It sounds just like him, doesn't it?"


Foxx, who was nicknamed "Chicago Red" because of his hair color, was only 49 years old when the series began Fred Sanford was 65. He complained that a lot of people assumed he was Fred's age.


"Just as soon as I put those big heavy shoes on and walk out there, I become Sanford—but not until then, not until I put my shoes on," Foxx said. "I can put the rest of the outfit on, but if I don't have those shoes on, I don't walk like him, and I don't think like him."


It was the comedian's tribute to his brother, who had died five years before the show premiered. Lamont Sanford was named after Lamont Ousley, one of the two other teenagers who made up the washtub band Foxx formed when he dropped out of high school after just one year. The character Grady Wilson (Whitman Mayo) was named after Demond Wilson, whose full name is Grady Demond Wilson.


"Fred Sanford is Mary Sanford, who is my mother, but you can reverse personalities into male or female," Foxx told Sammy Davis Jr. on Sammy and Company. "My mother would do the same thing . she would have heart attacks when I was a kid, I remember. When she wanted something done she could hardly breathe—she had emphysema, she had cancer, she had lumbago, she had whooping cough."


LaWanda Page was the only actress Foxx wanted to play Fred's sister-in-law, Esther. Page was too nervous to give an audition producers liked, but Foxx insisted. "They were going to let me go," Page told Jet magazine in 1977, "but Redd said, 'No, you ain't gonna let her go. That's LaWanda and I know she can do it! Just give me some time with her.'"


The legendary comedians co-wrote two episodes of Sanford and Son together during the show's second season, "The Dowry" and "Sanford and Son and Sister Makes Three."



For the final six episodes of the third season, Grady was put in charge of the business while Fred Sanford was in St. Louis attending his cousin's funeral because Foxx had walked off the show. Foxx and his physician claimed the actor was suffering from "nervous exhaustion, claustrophobia, and calcification between the fifth and sixth vertebrae in his back" thanks to the show, and his marriage of 17 years was falling apart because of his busy schedule. NBC and Tandem Productions claimed Foxx "appeared at the studio flaunting a pearl-handled revolver" and had already received a salary bump up to $25,000 an episode, from his initial $6000. Tandem Productions sued Foxx and Wilson—who had joined Foxx at the start of season four out of solidarity—for $10 million, claiming breach of contract.


Before Sanford and Son ended its run, Grady moved out of Watts and in with his daughter in Westwood in Grady (1975-1976), a spinoff that lasted just 10 episodes.

After Sanford and Son ended 1977, NBC tried to keep the party going without Foxx, who left to do a variety show on ABC, and Wilson, who refused to keep the show going due to a salary dispute. In Sanford Arms, Phil Wheeler (Theodore Wilson) moved into Fred and Lamont's house after the two moved to Arizona. Phil and his two teenage children attempted to turn the rooming house next door into a successful hotel. Grady, Bubba (Don Bexley), and Esther also appeared. It lasted for four episodes.

Sanford (1980-1981) brought back Foxx, but Wilson again refused to reprise his role. The events of Sanford Arms were ignored, and this time Lamont left to work on the Alaska Pipeline. He was replaced in the business by Cal Pettie (Dennis Burkley), an optimistic Texan. NBC canceled it after 19 episodes, burning off the final seven over the summer of 1981.


Foxx had kept the 1951 Ford F1 at his own Las Vegas home after the original series ended, returning it briefly to NBC for Sanford. At an auction, Bill Milks bought it, and Donald Dimmitt of Dimmitt's Salvage in Argos, Indiana purchased it from Milks in 1987 for $3500.


Foxx collapsed on October 11,1991, during rehearsals for his new sitcom, The Royal Family. "They were rehearsing on the set and clowning around, and Redd was sort of breaking people up when he collapsed," a spokeswoman for the show told The Los Angeles Times. "They all thought he was joking around at first, and then they called the paramedics."

I am assistant professor of history at Sattler College. I was previously a postdoctoral research associate at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. I also have taught in Washington University’s Prison Education Project and Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics.

I earned my master’s and doctoral degrees from Duke University Divinity School, and a BA in philosophy from Wheaton College. I have received fellowships from organizations such as the Louisville Institute and the Center for the Study of Philanthropy and Voluntarism at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy.

I recently published my first book, God's Law and Order: The Politics of Punishment in Evangelical America, on the history of evangelical Christian influence in modern American criminal justice. My broader academic interests include American religious history (particularly evangelicalism, African-American religions, and social activism), Christianity in the global south, and American political history.

The Rosewood Massacre was an attack on the predominantly African American town of Rosewood, Florida, in 1923 by large groups of white aggressors. The town was entirely destroyed by the end of the violence, and the residents were driven out permanently. The story was mostly . read more

Every night in November 1968, National Guardsmen circled the streets in Wilmington, Delaware, armed with loaded rifles and ready to put down racial violence in the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Every so often, they’d stop to hassle Black residents, using racial slurs to . read more

Independent Schools Qualifying Tournament

At the Tatnall School


106 &ndash Luke Poore (Caravel) pinned Connor Girard (Salesianum) 3:24.

113 &ndash Zach Spence (Salesianum) dec. Kevin Bowne (Caravel) 6-2.

120 &ndash Ethan Gray (Caravel) maj . dec. Donald Morton (Wilmington Friends) 13-3.

126 &ndash Alex Poore (Caravel) dec. Owen Klinger (Salesianum) 7-0.

132 &ndash Justin Griffith (Sanford) pinned Dylan Knight (Caravel) 5:09.

138 &ndash Harry Latch (Salesianum) pinned Ky Jacobs (Tower Hill) 1:35.

145 &ndash Will Brock (Salesianum) dec. Ted Hughes (Tower Hill) 12-4.

152 &ndash Nicholas Hall (Caravel) pinned Andrew Hudson (Delaware Military Academy) 2:54.

160 &ndash Anthony Bernieri (Caravel) dec. Nathan Jones (Newark Charter) 3-1.

170 &ndash Jason Lamey (Sanford) pinned Nolan Collins (Archmere) 3:03.

182 &ndash Colin Fowler (Salesianum) dec. Luke Duarte (Caravel) 3-1 SV.

195 &ndash Danny Stradley (Salesianum) pinned Tyler Brock (Delaware Military Academy) 1:42.

220 &ndash Stephon Hutt (Salesianum) dec. Garrett Thomas (Charter School of Wilmington) 8-1.

285 &ndash Ben Somerville (Charter School of Wilmington) dec. Christopher Boc (Delaware Military Academy) 7-1.


106 &ndash Sadler (Con) dec. Munch (WF) 4-3.

113 &ndash Leffler (WF) dec. Gatti (FSMA) 4-3.

120 &ndash Engelmann (Sal) maj.dec. DiTomasso (NC) 12-2.

126 &ndash Ball (CSW) dec. Neff (T) 4-3.

132 &ndash Kist (Sal) dec. Dempster (CSW) 4-0.

138 &ndash Lilley (SA) dec. Smith (DMA) 9-5.

145 &ndash Huffman (A) dec. Jones (NC) 2-1.

152 &ndash Clatworthy (CSW) won by forfeit over Harasika (Sal).

160 &ndash Froelich (Sal) dec. Boyden (TH) 7-2.

170 &ndash Miller (Sal) dec. McNeill (WC) 4-2.

182 &ndash Campbell (WC) pinned Brown (TH) 3:54.

195 &ndash Pierce (TH) dec. Palmer (SM) 8-2.

220 &ndash Brooks (A) dec. Harris (Con) 8-5.

285 &ndash Adams (Sal) dec. Highland (SM) 2-1 SV.


106 &ndash Wooters (NC) pinned Narvel (TH) 4:50.

113 &ndash Sama (NC) pinned Rouvas (WC) 2:36.

120 &ndash Sachetti (RL) maj.dec. Taylor (SA) 13-3.

126 &ndash Hevelow (NC) dec. Byron (DMA) 10-9.

132 &ndashMakoujy (A) dec. Wood (SA) 13-6 .

138 &ndash Sullivan (Con) pinned Antonio (Car) 2:58.

145 &ndash M.Boesenberg (FSMA) pinned Warrington (SM) 3:57.

152 &ndash A.Boesenbrg (FSMA) pinned Cauchy (WF) 2:51.

160 &ndash Pargoe (RL) pinned McDougal (A) 1:25.

170 &ndash Lynch (NC) pinned Savdinis (Con) 4:07.

182 &ndash Rose (NC) dec. Covington (CSW) 5-3.

195 &ndash Cobb (NC) pinned Smith (Car) 1:18.

220 &ndash Buckholdt (DMA) dec. Coffey (NC) 4-2.

285 &ndash Crock (WF) won by forfeit.

106 &ndash L.Poore (Car) pinned Sadler (Con) 3:24 Girard (Sal) pinned Munch (WF) 5:37.

113 &ndash Spence (Sal) pinned Sama (NC) 1:01 Bowne (Car) won by forfeit over Leffler (WF).

120 &ndash Gray (Car) tech. fall DiTomasso (NC) 18-2 Morton (WF) dec. Engelmann (Sal) 6-2.

126 &ndash A.Poore (Car) pinned Neff (T) 3:13 Klinger (Sal) dec. Ball (CSW) 9-3.

132 &ndash Griffith (San) pinned Dempster (CSW) 4:00 Knight (Car) maj . dec. Kist (Sal) 10-1.

138 &ndash Latch (Sal) pinned Sullivan (Con) 5:08 Jacobs (TH) dec. Lilley (SA) 9-4.

145 &ndash Brock (Sal) dec. Huffman (A) 6-1 Hughes (TH) maj . dec. Jones (NC) 13-0.

152 &ndash Hall (Car) pinned Clatworthy (CSW) 1:34 Hudson (DMA) dec. Harasika (Sal) 7-5.

160 &ndash Bernieri (Car) dec. McDougal (A) 3-1 Jones (NC) maj . dec. Pargoe (RL) 17-7.

170 &ndash Collins (A) pinned Lynch (NC) 0:46 Lamey (San) pinned Miller (Sal) 1:29.

182 &ndash Fowler (Sal) pinned Brown (TH) 3:36 L.Duarte (Car) dec. Campbell (WC) 3-1.

195 &ndash Stradley (Sal) won by forfeit over Palmer (SM) Brock (DMA) pinned Smith (Car) 5:20.

220 &ndash Hutt (Sal) pinned Brooks (A) 1:47 Thomas (CSW) pinned Coffey (NC) 0:53.

285 &ndash Somerville (CSW) pinned Highland (SM) 2:13 Boc (DMA) pinned Adams (Sal) 0:44.

Sanford Griffith - History

TV Studios, Backlots and Ranches in the 1950's-1970's
(Hollywood and Vicinity)

a RetroWeb Studio Backlots website

rev. 11/24/2010 -->

This web site attempts to document the Hollywood and vicinity studio, backlot and ranch facilities utilized for television production in the early years of television and through the 1970's. The information below is derived from the collective knowledge and research of the membership of the former Yahoo Group "StudioBacklots," as well as from a variety of official and unofficial web sites on studios and their backlots and ranches, and on vintage television series.


including images from the extensive historical photograph
collection of the Bison Archives

Recent Updates
- 10/30/15 - CBS Television City studio correction (All in the Family) and additions, and more
- 2/9/12 - former small backlot at 20th Century Fox - Hollywood noted
- 10/9/11 - former Charlie Chaplin (Kling) Studios / Perry Mason photo added
- 6/8/11 - Samuel Goldwyn Studios backlot history corrected/expanded
- 11/24/10 - Columbia Ranch and NBC Color City entries updated

quick-links to this page's four sections:
Studios and Backlots | Ranches | Locations | TV Shows in 1960

Section 1: Studios and Backlots

  • opened in 1912 as Vitagraph Studios, making it one of the oldest studios in Hollywood.
  • eventually purchased by Warner Bros in 1925
  • ABC Television acquired the studio property in 1949, and opened the world's largest, state-of-the-art television center.
  • "The old Vitagraph lot, then ABC, now Disney in East Hollywood, once had a large backlot, but by the time of television, the backlot was gone. For an early live western tv show, the side of one of the sound stages was painted to look like a western town or desert scene or something, and the show was show live from in front of that painted building." - Jerry S.
  • "I've been told that all the scenes [in 42nd STREET] inside the theater were shot at Prospect on [what was known as] the Vitaphone theater stage. That stage later became Studio E at ABC, (now Stage 5). Eventually, the auditorium end of the stage was demolished to make way for a new studio now called Stage 4. The Vitaphone stage was sort of like the Phantom stage at Universal in that a portion of it had a permanent auditorium set with seats and boxes. It was removed once ABC took over. The old TV series SPACE PATROL was shot on those combined stages." - Richard P.
  • a home to independent filmed television production in the early years of television, including productions by Gross-Krasne and Ziv-TV in the 1950's
  • studio dates to 1915 (as Famous Players Fiction Film Company)
  • known as Clune Studios in 1920's
  • later named California Studios, then Producers Studios, Inc.
  • became Raleigh Studios in 1980
  • CBS Television City was built and dedicated in 1952 on the former site of Gilmore Stadium.
  • original design included four studios, 31, 33, 41 and 43, all with audience seating
  • Studio 33 was renamed the Bob Barker Studio in 1998, and is home to The Price is Right, Family Feud, and HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher"
  • "In the mid-1980s, CBS built an annex to Television City to house two additional large studios, 36 and 46. Later, upstairs rehearsal halls in the main building were converted into Studios 56 and 58." - from History of CBS Television City:

TV Producer Norman Lear addresses an audience at a taping of All in the Family in Studio 31 at CBS Television City

  • built in 1938 for CBS station KNX, on the former site of the Nestor Film Company, the first movie studio ever built in Hollywood - which itself dated back to 1910.
  • used in early television production, including live broadcasts
  • founded in 1920 as Columbia Pictures Studios
  • Built in 1921, this 17-acre Hollywood movie studio was originally the historic Columbia Pictures Studios.
  • "In 1948, Columbia establishes a television arm, housed under the revived Screen Gems banner, which makes it one of the first studios to invest in television."
  • Spring 1970 - "soundstage # 4 caught fire and some Bewitched sets were damaged (especially the kitchen). Not wasting any time, the show shot scenes for The Salem Saga episodes while the kitchen set was repaired and redesigned."
  • "In 1972, the nearly bankrupt Columbia Pictures sold its Hollywood location at Sunset and Gower and moved over the hill to Burbank in the San Fernando Valley, where they shared space on the Warner Brothers lot (renamed for a while as "The Burbank Studios")."
  • The studio had no backlot, and instead, the Columbia Ranch in Burbank was used for exteriors.

aerial view of Sunset Gower Studios
(Bing Maps)

a scene from I Dream of Jeannie shot on the Columbia Pictures Studios lot

  • the Ranch started in 1934, as a 40 acre plot purchased by Harry Cohn, head of Columbia Pictures Corporation.
  • "Over the years, Columbia Pictures sold off much of its 80-acre Burbank ranch to developers. Columbia's ranch had acted as the studio's backlot since 1935, with its scenery of grassy park and fountain, Old West street (destroyed by fire in 1970), and facades of city buildings, townhouses and suburban homes (including the Bewitched house)."
  • a 1957 aerial photo "shows the single soundstage Columbia built at the ranch. Later, in the late 1950s, a second stage was built right next to it. Also, you can make out Columbia's special effects water tank with its sky backing almost dead center. Up to right where there's a semi-circular backing was the spot the lamasery set was built for Frank Capra's LOST HORIZON. Today that portion of the lot has a large drugstore and a parking lot. Many year ago Columbia sold off a portion of the lot to a developer." - Richard P.
  • "The real street used in the Blondie movies was right near CBS Studios. I took some photos when I was there last year. One of the houses was later recreated at the Columbia/Warner ranch. which later became the I Dream of Jeannie house." - Anthony
  • "The (new) "re-created" Blondie house at the Columbia Ranch from the early 1940s was indeed used for the exterior on Jeannie, as well as Mr.Wilson's house on Dennis, and the Anderson house on Father Knows Best, during the 1950s/60s. It's still standing, has most likely been used for numerous other TV shows and movies, as well as commercials throughout the decades." - Mark J. C.
  • "[In Bewitched,] I seem to remember the Kravitzes front house exterior being the house that would later become (or by 1970/71 was already) the Partridges' house [but in the episode "Mary the Good Fairy,"] there's a closeup of Gladys Kravitz gasping as she sees the police picking up Mary. and Mrs. Kravitz is [standing instead on the front porch of] the Donna [Reed] house (and also Dennis Mitchell's house)." - Mark J. C.
  • "I think they used a different exterior for the Kravitz house in that two-parter as the former house suffered some damage in a backlot fire." - Anthony
  • in 1970, three successive fires (in January, April and August) destroyed half the lot
  • in mid-1971, became a combined Columbia and Warner ranch
  • 1990 - Columbia left, and ranch became The Warner Ranch
  • "all of the houses on the Warner Ranch are now complete structures. I don't think there are any "facades" left. Some of the "facades" have been enclosed within the past decade to protect the sets from water damage." - William F., Jr.

aerial view of the Warner Ranch
(former Columbia Ranch)
(Bing Maps)

post-fire aerial view of the Columbia Ranch in 1970
(courtesy Bison Archives)

Columbia Ranch lagoon and berm seen in Gidget
(click here for a correlation of the lagoon to two "beach" scenes in Gidget)

  • began in 1915 as Metro Pictures back lot #3
  • studios constructed (as Equity Studios) in 1946. built primarily as a rental lot leasing space to independent producers
  • renamed Motion Picture Center Studios in January, 1947
  • 1953 - leased by Desilu Studios
  • 1956 - renamed to Desilu-Cahuenga Studios
  • 1967 - sold to Gulf & Western (Paramount)
  • 1969 - sold to Cinema General Studios
  • 1974 - Television Center Studios
  • "At one point, it was used as Lambert's Van & Storage, with only three of the nine sound stages occupied by a production company, Television Center Studios."
  • 1984 - Ren-Mar Studios
  • 2010 - Red Studios
  • there was no backlot, but some houses across the street on Lillian Way were used for occasional exterior filming (including as "Thelma Lou's" house on The Andy Griffith Show)
  • "Old Desilu production schedule reports reveal that The Andy Griffith Show reserved Desilu-Cahuenga's Stage 1 and 2 for Thursday through Wednesday shoots (with weekends off) for each of the 249 episodes they produced."
  • "It seems that Desilu-Cahuenga has always been a tough lot to "visit". I, too, had a similar opportunity in the late 60's and took advantage of an open gate on the north end of the lot. A large flatbed truck had just entered the lot and no one was standing by to close and lock the gate. I took advantage of the situation and walked in, making a quick left at the first studio door. I believe this was the old I Love Lucy stage but I'm not positive. Inside, they were shooting some interiors of Gomer Pyle USMC. Jim Nabors was sitting in one of those typical high chairs off to the side of where they were shooting some close-ups of Frank Sutton sitting behind his desk. The script girl was feedsing him the lines. When they stopped to re-set and load I started up a conversation with Jim Nabors. what a nice guy. Very pleasent and asked no questions about who I was. I guess he figured that if was in there it must be okay! After about 15 or 20 minutes of watching the action I went back out onto the lot and went to the next studio which was under the same roof as the Gomer studio. I recognized the set as that being from That Girl. No one was there so I just looked around taking it all in. After that I went to another stage at the other end and there was the set for a show that only ran for a season or two called Good Morning World, about two L.A. disc jockeys that did a morning wake-up radio show. Desilu was a very secure facility and I felt real lucky to have the chance to see it from the inside. Getting out was easy. I just walked out through the front gate. The guards wished me a good afternoon!" - Mark B.
  • productions ceased on this lot for several years in the 1970's, during which time some soundstages were used for furniture storage, and at least one was used as a tennis court. In 1981's "The Andy Griffith Show Book," Andy Griffith recalled a visit to the lot during this time period:
    "I was going to tell you a sad thing. Over on the corner of Cahuenga, near Melrose, there was a small studio. It's no longer a studio anymore. Part of it is indoor tennis courts and part of it is a huge warehouse for furniture that these big trucks haul to various points. I was over that way a year or two ago, and I just decided I would stop and see what was going on. So I went and looked onstage - stages one and two - that's where we spent 8 years - and they were storing furniture there. This whole studio, I understand, was built during the war, with inferior equipment. They were constantly digging up pipes for leaks. The roofs leaked. Don [Knotts] and I used to do scenes when it rained, and it would often rain in between us. Anyway, there were nine stages on that little lot, and for ten or fifteen years almost all of the comedy that came out of this town came out of that little studio. About 1970 a lot of shows went off the air or were cancelled. I had an aborted show that year [Headmaster] and we moved to Warner Brothers. Mayberry moved to Warner Brothers too. But when we moved and so many shows were cancelled, that little lot died, that tiny little lot died." - Andy Griffith

aerial view of Desilu-Cahuenga Studios in early 1960's
(click for labelled lot layout)
(courtesy Bison Archives)

original stages 1 and 2 where The Andy Griffith Show was filmed
today the home of Red Studios' stage 6 (the faded "2" on the stage door does not date to the Desilu era as one might assume, as this was originally the door to stage 1)
(Google Maps Street View)

"Desilu Playhouse" audience doors at 847 Lillian Way for stages 8 and 9 (Our Miss Brooks and I Love Lucy respectively)

  • established by Ince in 1919
  • 1928 - studios and backlot acquired by RKO Pictures
  • 1937 - acquired by David Selznick on long-term lease
  • 1948 - bought by Howard Hughes
  • 1958 - bought by Desilu Productions
  • adjacent "40 Acres" backlot used heavily for TV exteriors
  • "Originally, there were glass stages back when it was the Ince Studio. All but the first one were knocked down. Then right behind the remaining glass stage, a large enclosed stage building containing stages 2,3 & 4 was built. Stage 2 had a higher roof. Still does. Stage 2 opens into stage 3. So when stages 2 & 3 are combined, it makes a stage approximately 32,532 sq. feet. Back when RKO owned the lot, the largest stage was stage 15. It was over 33,000 sq.feet The stage could be flooded. When Desilu bought the RKO Pathe lot, they divided 15 into two stages." - Richard P.
  • "On December 12, 1964, producer Gene Roddenberry filmed his first "Star Trek" pilot "The Cage" at Stages 14, 15, and 16 at Desilu in Culver City. They went over and it took 12 days to shoot it, just a few days outside the normal range for filming a 50 minute pilot film. The following year in 1965, the network that he was trying to sell it to for a television series, NBC Television, rejected the pilot. A second pilot script was written, along with two others "Mudd's Women" and "The Omega Glory", but Roddenberry went with "Where No Man Has Gone Before" to film as the second pilot with filming starting on Monday, July 19th, 1965. The pilot shoot would wrap 8 days later on July 27th, 1965. Filming was once again at Desilu at Culver on Stages 15 and 16 and by spring of 1966, the pilot sold to NBC." - Daniel R.
  • "I read somewhere that the second pilot for STAR TREK was shot on stage 15 at Desilu-Culver. It seems there was a nest of hornets up in the rafters that the production disturbed. Several people were stung including Shatner." - Richard P.
  • "Just about all the original sound stages at RKO Pathe had internal sound-proofed doors that opened up so two, even three stages could become one. Stages 2,3 & 4 were all interconnected. Stage 2 had a higher roof for filming scenes simulated inside a theater. Stage 2 was the theater stage while stage 3 had the auditorium seats. Paramount had the same setup with stages 6 & 7. MGM had the biggest theater stage which was combined 5 & 6. Stage 6 had a clearance of 80 feet making it the highest stage of all the major studios. At the old Vitagraph Studio in East Hollywood (later home to KABC TV), there was the Vitaphone Stage used for the WB film 42nd STREET. It was first used for THE JAZZ SINGER. Part of it, the higher section, still exists." - Richard P.
  • The stage used for at least one of the Star Trek pilots: "The DeMille stage was built at the end off 1926 for the film, King of Kings (1927). It was later soundproofed by Pathe after DeMille left the lot in 1929. So people still referred to it as a 'silent era' stage. [The stage] still exists and is the largest one on the lot." - Marc W.
  • "William Shatner described the Culver stages as being in extremely poor condition. He also talked about the sets being very limited in how they could be filmed as they were built for specific shots instead of the walls being able to be moved around easily. When they [Star Trek] were moved to Gower parts of them were rebuilt to be easier to use." - William F., Jr.
  • "The Culver Stages and the 40A backlot were indeed shabby with paint peeling off the walls and the old dirty soundproofing in the stages, but it was heaven for me as it was 'dripping' of history." - Marc W.
  • 1967 - sold to Gulf & Western Industries / Paramount Studios
  • 1968 - sold to Perfect Film & Chemical
  • 1969 - sold to Toronto-based OSF Industries, Ltd. and called Beverly Hills Studios
  • 1970 - renamed Culver City Studios
  • 1976 - "40 Acres" backlot sold to developers
  • 1977 - became Laird International Studios, a rental facility
  • 1986 - studios sold to Grant Tinker and Gannett Company
  • 1991 - sold to Sony Corporation
  • 2004 - sold to PCCP Studio City Los Angeles

vintage view of the Culver Studios colonial mansion

the "40 Acres" backlot in the 1960's
(courtesy Bison Archives)

filming The Andy Griffith Show on the "40 Acres" back lot

the Culver Studios mansion in The Real McCoys

  • established by Robertson Cole in 1921 (later reorganized as Film Booking Offices of America - FBO)
  • RKO Pictures formed in Oct. 1928
  • RKO Studios was once located along Gower St. in what is today the western 1/4 of the Paramount lot (you can still see the giant RKO globe at the corner of Melrose & Gower today).
  • R-K-O Studios was at one time located along Gower Street in Hollywood, adjacent to Paramount Studios. Desilu founders, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz acquired the lot in 1957 and sold it ten years later to Paramount. With that merger, the former R-K-O main entrance became a side entrance for Paramount.
  • "On the RKO Gower lot, stages 7.8,9 & 10 were all interconnecting. They could open them up so they had a soundstage that was nearly 500' long by 145' wide. Stages 9 & 10 were used for filming the Venice canal scenes in TOP HAT. And stages 11,12 & 14 could be interconnected. Today they're stages 19, 20 &21 on what is now the Paramount lot." - Richard P.
  • "Lucy park" courtyard used by many Paramount TV shows of the later 1960s and throughout the 1970s.
  • "stages 1, 2, & 3 were built as silent stages when the lot was F.B.O. When RKO started up they added stages 4 though 10. And then later on came stages 11, 12, & 14 which were all along Melrose Ave. Stages 1 & 2 had internal divisions so there was a stage 1A and 2A. The latter became the RKO scoring stage." - Richard P.
  • Star Trek filmed on stages RKO/Desilu stages 9 and 10, which are today numbered as Paramount stages 31 and 32 respectively. For Star Trek, stage 9 housed the permanent interior sets of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and stage 10 was used for temporary sets, including planet "exteriors."
  • "Our Paramount Guide was pretty knowledgeable about stuff, except he totally missed the RKO sewer covers, which I had heard of and pointed out to him. All the people in the tour rushed over to look!" - Larry W.
  • "One of my favorite memories at Desilu-Gower was watching them film "The Untouchables" on a watered-down soundstage street, meant to recapture old Chicago, while G-men and mobsters, in old 1930s cars with tires squealing and Tommy guns blazing, shot it out with each other around false storefronts, stoops, and fake alleyways." - from "EXTRA!! EXTRA!! I WAS A HOLLYWOOD NEWSBOY" - By Robert Leslie Dean
  • "One of its [Desilu-Gower's] valuable production features is its well-known "New York Street" located on Stages 9 and 10, which can be used at all times regardless of weather." - from a Desilu Annual Production report, 1960-61, courtesy Jake S.
  • 1967 - sold to Gulf & Western (Paramount)

aerial view of former Desilu-Gower facilities
(now the western quarter of the Paramount lot)
(Bing Maps)

Desilu-Gower's soundstage New York Street in The Untouchables

filming Star Trek on stage 9 at Desilu-Gower
(courtesy "birdofthegalaxy")

  • built in 1919, became known as General Service Studio in 1933
  • 1970's renamed Hollywood General
  • purchased by Coppola in 1979 (Zoetrope)
  • sold in 1984, and renamed Hollywood Center Studios
  • at one time, the lot was home to Monogram Studios, before it moved to its new home where KCET is today.
  • NO BACKLOT. "but Perry (and the various Filmways shows) would frequently film exterior scenes around administrative buildings and the parking lot as well as the gated/guarded entrance to the facility. Sometimes you even see the 1040 numbers for the street address of 1040 N.Las Palmas, on the admin buildings at the front gated/guarded entrance! OR on at least Perry, close-ups of auto registrations or drivers' licenses of characters in episodes during the "General Service" seasons will have that character living at 1040 N.Las Palmas!" - Mark J. C.
  • "Jed Clampett's "Mammoth Pictures" entrance was a stock footage of the main entrance to General Service Studios!" - Mark J. C.
  • "General Service Studios was important to Desilu because by the 2nd season of I Love Lucy they had rented the entire facility. But because of it's small size, they moved to Motion Picture Center. Not sure how long they rented GSS for or if they still had a presence after I Love Lucy and Our Miss Brooks moved." - William F., Jr.
  • "Stage 2 was named "Desilu Playhouse" and a special entrance was created on Romaine St. on the south side of the lot." - from Wikipedia entry on Desilu Productions

aerial view of Hollywood Center Studios
(formerly General Service Studios)
(Bing Maps)

  • a home to independent filmed television production in the early years of television, including productions by by Hal Roach, Jr. and Roland Reed
  • near the railroad tracks at National Blvd.
  • Most of the Laurel & Hardy movies, the Our Gang shorts, and many Harold Lloyd comedies were made at the studio
  • "known as Fort Roach during WWII" (William F., Jr.)
  • The 14.5 acre studio once known as "The Lot of Fun," containing 55 buildings, was torn down in 1963
  • ""Amos 'N Andy" shot 75 episodes over two seasons before CBS pulled the plug caused by pressure from the NAACP. By the way, CBS has the negs and will never allow it to be officially released so everything that comes out on DVD is from questionable film sources. Bill Cosby tried to talk the network into properly rereleasing it, but got nowhere.
    In 1952, "My Little Margie" filmed 14 episodes. That series lasted from 1952 to 1955. Gail Storm followed it starring in "The Gale Storm Show" (AKA "Oh Susanna!") which was also filmed at Roach and lasted five seasons.
    For its second season, "The Abbott & Costello Show" left Roach, moving to Motion Picture Center.
    Six sound stages would support six series if those series weren't two complicated. And remember that stage 4 at Roach was also used for scoring. It had a projection booth plus a sound monitor booth and a screen up on the wall.
    Years ago I met someone who had photos taken all over the lot, inside and out. I lost track of him. I'd love to see them today."
    - Richard P.

the Hal Roach backlot in The Twilight Zone episode "Two"

  • built in 1917, with buildings resembling an English village
  • Charlie Chaplin's footprints are in the concrete in front of Stage 3.
  • leased long term beginning in 1953 by Kling Studios of Chicago, for production of features, commmercials and syndicated television series
  • sold in 1960 and became Red Skelton Studios
  • sold to CBS in 1962, who owned it for the rest of the 1960's.
  • recently sold by A&M Records to Henson Productions in 2000
  • confirms backlot had been removed by (circa) 1960
  • "I was there one day when they filmed THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN in 1955. I got a tour of the lot by Jack Larson. He showed me where Charlie Chaplin had placed his footprints and his cane in cement. I seem to remember not much of a backlot. There might have been a small street set left over from when Chaplin owned the lot. 1955 was a long time ago so it's hard to remember exactly what was on the lot. I believe Chaplin's former home was still there which was up near Sunset Blvd. The lot had three sound stages. The big one which today is called The Chaplin Stage. Behind it was Stage 2 which was later converted into a scoring stage used by Todd-AO for AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Stage 3 was a small stage and that's where they were filming the day I was on the lot. It was the episode where Superman is frozen and has to walk into a blast furnace to thaw out." - Richard P.

Charlie Chaplin Studios
(home of the Jim Henson Company)
(Google Maps Street View)

aerial view of Charlie Chaplin Studios
(Bing Maps)

  • built in 1919, home to Warner Brothers Pictures
  • "Colonial mansion, built by the Warner Brothers in 1919, was later used for years as a bowling alley" - L.A. Times
  • "The KTLA studio, when it was still WB's, had a backlot. But by the time of television production, the backlot was gone. My friend Steve Lodge and a buddy of his had to stage a western fight on the stairs and second floor of one of the regular buildings for a pilot to a western being shot at that location." - Jerry S.
  • "[Warner Brothers] continued to maintain it [the Hollywood lot] as a working studio [even after they took over First National Studios in Burbank]. In fact, when the Burbank lot suffered a bad fire in back in 1934, Jack Warner assured everyone they would still meet their production goal since they still had the Hollywood studio. In 1937, Warner Brothers leased the long building that fronts Sunset to a bowling alley concession. They turned the sound stages into the world's largest bowling alley called Hollywood Lanes. As a kid I went there with my dad." - Richard P.
  • "By the 1950s, the Hollywood lot was pretty much abandoned so in 1954, Warner Brother sold their original Hollywood lot to Paramount. KTLA was actually not on the Paramount lot, but across the street from the studio at 5451 Marathon Street." - Richard P.
  • "Gunsmoke exterior street was built using two stages linked together at the original Warner Bros. studios on Sunset near gower, now the KTLA studio. [That is why] the look of the show is so artificial, as it was not shot outdoors much at all." - Randall R.
  • "KTLA was started by Paramount as W6XYZ. It first began broadcasting experimentally in 1941. W6XYZ became KTLA in 1947. At that time it began to schedule regular programs." - Richard P.
  • "In 1964 Paramount sold KTLA along with the Sunset Studio to cowboy star Gene Autry. In 1985, KTLA along with the Sunset facility was purchased by Tribune Broadcasting, a division of the Tribune newspaper empire. In 2008 Tribune sold the physical studio to Hudson Capital, LLC, but retained ownership of KTLA. KTLA is still housed there. But today they merely lease space. The studio is now called Sunset Bronson and is owned by the same investment group that owns Sunset Gower Studios, the former home of Columbia Pictures." - Richard P.

aerial view of KTLA Studios
(Bing Maps)

  • founded in 1915 by Thomas H. Ince as Triangle Studios. sold to Samuel Goldwyn in 1918
  • in mid-1920's, MGM became largest studio in Hollywood. held this position for over thirty years
  • renamed Sony Pictures Entertainment in 1991
  • backlots 2 and 3 (at least) razed in late 1970's - now houses and condos
  • Lot #1 is now Sony Pictures - a "Main Street" set of facades covering offices is the only semblance of a back lot that still exists
  • Lot #2 was located across Overland Ave. from the main lot
  • Lot #3 was at the corner of Jefferson & Overland in Culver City
  • "Lot 1 encompassed seventy-two acres, housed all the thirty soundstages, office buildings, and dressing rooms, the seven warehouses crammed with furniture, props, and draperies. Lot 2 consisted of thirty-seven acres of permanent exterior sets, including the town of Carvel, home of the Hardy family, and the great Victorian street from Meet Me in St. Louis. Here was the house where David Copperfield lived, there the street where Marie Antoinette rolled to the guillotine. Lots 3, 4, and 5 were used for outdoor settings - the jungle and rivers that provided the backdrop for Tarzan, much of Trader Horn, the zoo that provided the animals, including the lion that heralded each and every Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film. Connecting everything was thirteen miles of paved road." - Scott Eyman, in "Lion of Hollywood"
  • correction: "The 'Meet Me in St. Louis' street at M-G-M was on Lot 3, not Lot 2." - Steven B.
  • "Lot 4 and 5 were not used for filming, per se, as they housed the zoo and other things. Like lots 2 and 3, they are all gone. Lot 1 for many years, at least into the 1930's, had a backlot on the western end." - Jerry S.
  • "The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Book: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of a Television Classic, describes how U.N.C.L.E. producer Sam Rolfe had problems sharing the MGM backlot with Combat! They would arrange for a location, then show up to find that Combat! had been there the preceding week and blown up all the streets. U.N.C.L.E. crews would repair the sets for non-wartime filming, then Combat! would destroy them again the following week"
  • Nassour Studio bought by Times-Mirror Company, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, to house station KTTV.
  • NY-based Metromedia purchased station and property in 1963
  • in 1973, TV producer Norman Lear headquartered his company Tandem Productions here.
  • "In 1986 Metromedia sold most of its television interests to the News Corporation, and KTTV became a cornerstone station of the new Fox Broadcasting Company. As a result, the studios became the Fox Television Center." - Wikipedia article
  • originally Monogram Pictures and Allied Artists
  • Monogram Pictures owned the studio. Allied Artists was a subsidiary name to make their product sound better.
  • had a New York Street, and for a few years, a western street.
  • "The Monogram Studio backlot was located where the current Los Angeles PBS station KCET is located. The studio, at that time, had 3 sound stages, if I remember correctly and a very small backlot area which consisted of a New York Street. Then, in the late 1950's, the studio converted the NY Street into a Western Street (photos on my web site: " - Jerry S.
  • dedicated in March of 1955 as "NBC Color City"
  • NBC originally planned to relocate The Tonight Show from the Burbank studios to Universal, but in the aftermath of the Jay Leno / Conan O'Brian debacle, and after Leno insisted on the show returning to the Burbank lot, NBC-Universal is now renting the Burbank studios from the investment group to which the company recently sold the property.

aerial view of NBC Studios in Burbank
(Bing Maps)

  • Paramount Pictures origins date to 1912
  • "Originally located on the south side of Melrose Avenue, Peralta Studios moved across the street on Marathon in 1917, later becoming Brunton Studios, then United Studios before Paramount-Famous-Lasky took over in 1926." - L.A. Times
  • last major film studio still headquartered in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles
  • "The first silent stage built on what is today the Paramount lot is Stage 1. Then came Stage 2. Stage 3 was converted into wardrobe. So when they later built the small 'test' stage they named it Stage 3. Then came Stage 4 and what is today Stage 17. I guess when it was Brunton is was called Stage 5. All the silent stages were to the right. I believe the next silent stages constructed were 8 and 9. Stage 10 and the adjacent stage that became the scoring stage were built as silent stages. The first built-from-the-ground-up sound stages were 11, 12, 13 & 14. Then came 15 which was a tin stage built over 'A' tank. It was later soundproofed. Stages 16 and 18 were the last two sound stages built on the lot." - Richard P.
  • "Stage 7 was built around 1929. It was built as their 'theater' stage where part of it was much higher to handle the various curtains and scenery that could be lifted up just like in a real theater. MGM had a similar stage as did UA (Goldwyn) in Hollywood. Warner Brothers had one on the Prospect lot. They called it the Vitaphone theater stage." - Richard P.
  • regarding the famous "Bronson Gate," Paramount's original main entrance : "Ah yes, the scene [in "Sunset Boulevard"] where the guard challenges "Max" when he wants to drive Miss Desmond onto the lot to see Mr. DeMille, who is shooting on stage 18. that would be the Bronson Avenue gate. I love that scene. "Jones, remind your friend that without me ther would be no Paramount Studios." Ah, the golden days. " - Daniel R.
  • "A lot of changes were made to stage 18 after they filmed SUNSET BLVD. on it. At one point they uncovered the basement so that they could attain greater height for filming the huge courtyard set in REAR WINDOW. The stage door we see DeMille come out of is no longer at that spot. It was moved when Paramount added a freight elevator outside the stage." - Richard P.
  • "Paramount had five stages that interconnected. They were 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. The first three made up the fist purposeful built sound stages on the lot. In fact, right after construction was finished they burned to the ground. Paramount quickly rebuilt them. All four stages had sound monitor booths on a second story where the sound mixer could look down onto the stage. Later, stages 12 and 14 were combined. After Stage 15 was built over what had been 'A' tank on the lot, Paramount installed doors that could be opened so all four stages made up a single huge stage. DeMille filmed some of the largest sets for THE TEN COMMANDMENTS on those combined stages. SAMSON and DELILAH used 14 and 15 combined for the huge temple set. And ELEPHANT WALK was filmed on combined 14 and 15." - Richard P.
  • "Bonanza worked many scenes [on mock exterior sets] at Paramount, where the Ponderosa stood proud on a rather narrow stage." - Randall R.
  • "The Paramount [backlot exterior] western street was constructed long before BONANZA. I believe original sections of it first went up for the Alan Ladd western, WHISPERING SMITH in 1948. It was added onto over the years. The western street was used for GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL (1957) as well as LAST TRAIN FROM GUN HILL (1959). For that feature, Paramount installed about a quarter mile of train track so they could film a Baldwin steam engine No. 22 pulling several vintage coaches through the western street. The Paramount western street was used for ONE EYED JACKS (released in 1961 - filmed starting in 1959). In fact, for that film, the sky drop for 'B' Tank was used to extend the horizon. In 1979, the entire western street sets were demolished to make way for a large studio parking lot." - Richard P.
  • regarding the above-mentioned locomotive: "Paramount owned the engine and cars. They purchased No. 22 back in 1937. Paramount also owned No. 18, another Virginia & Truckee steam locomotive. Both engines were sold to the State of Nevada in 1974." - Richard P.
  • "The mountain [backdrop] was over on the west end right up next to what had been RKO and later Desilu. It was not by the tank. In some photos taken I see building constructed over the tank, but in others, the tank is open such as it was in the Above Los Angeles aerial taken in 1976. In 1980 after the western street was removed, the tank was in use." - Richard P.
  • "'B' Tank went up back in the 1940s. It's called 'B' tank because 'A' tank was where stage 15 stands. Originally 'A' tank was an open outdoor tank. Then it was covered over with a huge tin shed structure that was not soundproofed. Soon after, the stage was soundproofed. It connects with adjacent stage 14 which was originally two stages, the first of four originally built for sound on the lot. Later on, the wall seperating the two stages was torn down. Right after stages 11, 12, 13 and 14 were finished, they burned to the ground forcing Paramount to film their first sound movie at night on their silent stages as well as in the cramped silent 'test stage' which was once used by Roy Pomeroy to split the Red Sea for DeMille's original silent version of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. When 'B' tank isn't being used, Paramount uses it as a parking lot." - Richard P.
  • "[In THE TEN COMMANDMENTS], The parting of the Red Sea was accomplished by filming water in 'B' tank using a special dump systems. The footage was combined optically with shots of actors walking through the empty sea floor. Those shots could have been filmed inside combined 14 and 15. Not sure." - Richard P.
  • "New York street was built very early on possibly when the studio was the Brunton Studio. Early photos I've seen of the lot show a lot of exteriors sets. Over the years, buildings went up around where the New York street was located. Then in 1983 a huge fire completely destroyed it. The current New York Street built in the exact same area is a state-of-the-art exterior set." - Richard P.
  • lot grew over years and eventually absorbed old RKO Hollywood lot (see Desilu-Gower)
  • "The small European village [used in Star Trek and Hogan's Heroes] was right behind the Nickodell Restaurant and catty-cornered to the KHJ broadcast building on Melrose. The restaurant was leveled to make way for more parking on the Paramount lot. Also removed [in 1979] were the European village and the western street used in BONANZA." - Richard P.
  • "At Paramount, according to their website, stages 4, 8, 16 and 24 have pits. Stage 24 used to be Stage 2 when it was Desilu and before that RKO. [Stage 3] was used for audience sitcoms. Still is." - Richard P.
  • "Here's Lucy was shot on stage 25 (Lucy's dressing room was/is attached). This is the same stage where The Lucy Show, Cheers, Bosom Buddies, and Frasier were shot. Here's Lucy only shot their first 2 seasons at Paramount. They then moved to Universal. It became too difficult for Lucy to continue shooting at her old studio." - William F., Jr.
  • Today: "There is such a mix of old and new - the 'public' area by the company store / snackbar is a nice area to relax and unwind, then you have the original writer's buildings still there inside the Bronson Gate (both, of course, seen in Sunset Blvd)- then there is the famous gate itself. They have bought the land in front of it, closed off the street immediately in front of the gate and made a lovely courtyard with trees and a fountain. Then into the future with a new and state of the art 'screening room' theatre." - Larry W.
  • "RKO/Desilu was the entire western 1/4 of the lot. The lot was originally 2 studios, with a massive backlot between them. Eventually Paramount replaced the backlot with stages and office buildings. The oldest part of the former Desilu lot is the buildings at Lucy Park. It originally had arches but they were demolished due to structural problems. Too bad they did not rebuild them since they are what made the building stand out in the TV shows that shot there." - William F., Jr.
  • "Paramount never built stages on what was the RKO and later Desilu lot. All they did was knock down the wall that separated Paramount from what had been Desilu. All the sound stages on the Gower Street side were built by RKO. The very last stages to be constructed went up sometime in the late 1930s. They are the stages that run along Melrose Ave. The corner stage on Melrose and Gower used to have an antenna mounted above the globe on the roof. Those stages were built as 11, 12 & 14. They're renumbered as 19, 20 & 21. Paramount hasn't built a soundstage since Stage 18 went up which was eons ago. They did lose Stage 10 when the Bing Crosby Building was demolished a couple of years ago. Also gone was the scoring stage. Today, a huge Technicolor post production center sit there." - Richard P.

aerial view of Paramount New York Street Facades and B-Tank Sky Backdrop
(Bing Maps)

The famous "Bronson Gate" at Paramount Studios
(Google Maps Street View photo)

a current-day diagram of Paramount Studios, also including original RKO/Desilu stage numbers

The Paramount western street in Bonanza

  • 38-acre studio dates to circa 1928 as (Mack Sennett's) Keystone Studios
  • in mid-1930's, became Mascot, then Monogram Studios, which joined to form Republic Pictures
  • CBS Television took over in 1963
  • at one time co-owned by Mary Tyler Moore (MTM) productions and CBS
  • ALL MCA/Revue TV shows were filmed there through the 1958/59 season
  • Four Star Productions filmed here until about 1970
  • backlot included such sets as western streets, New England Street, mansion (seen in The Big Valley and The Wild Wild West), and the Gilligan's Island lagoon
  • "The opening famous gun battle of Gunsmoke was shot on the western street on the back lot of the CBS Radford Studio in Studio City. This street set remained until the later 90's just inside the truck gate off Cole Ave. Also using the stages at CBS Radford was The Wild Wild West." -Randall R.
  • "Gilligan's Island was shot in the river basin at the studio that runs along behind the studio. Years later they built a home for a famous reality TV show at this spot. Had a big fence around it to keep every one out as they lived locked up in there during the series. But writers used to love to walk by and throw wadded up paper with notes full of story ideas into the yard." - Randall R.
  • "Today, the old western street is a parking lot and sound stages. They have named streets after the various shows, including Gunsmoke. [In 1997] they tore out the old lagoon from Gilligan's Island, which Gunsmoke also used." - Randall R.
  • prior to its removal, the lagoon was used as a parking lot when it was empty.

aerial view of CBS Studio Center
(formerly Republic Studios)
(Bing Maps)

a current-day diagram of CBS Studio Center

The cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the series finale curtain call

  • 20-acres site began in Jan 1920 as Hampton Studios, quickly became Pickford-Fairbanks Studios
  • 1928 - United Artists
  • in 1950's became the Samuel Goldwyn Studios
  • became Warner Hollywood Studios in the 1980's
  • "home to the legendary Formosa Cafe watering hole, which served as an unofficial clubhouse for the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable." - L.A. Times
  • "industry also called it "The Formosa Studios", since its entrance is on Formosa Ave., w/ Santa Monica Blvd. bordering its north." - Javier M.
  • now called "The Lot"
  • "The backlot of the Goldwyn Studio was used in early tv production because it was prominently featured in The Roy Rogers Show with its western street." - Jerry S.
  • "Making its debut in [The Fugitive's second season episode "When The Bough Breaks"] was the new Goldwyn backlot street. FUGITIVE Art Director Serge Krizman had layed out the 31 building fronts as a project for the studio facility, not specifically for the series. But THE FUGITIVE was the 1st to capitalize on its availability. The street was constructed during the Spring and early Summer of 1964 and saw action in this episode in the first week of August. As backlot shooting fell out of favor, the streets which were located here were torn down. They survived into the 80's." - Chris S.
  • "Samuel Goldwyn suffered a number of fires that destroyed a number of it's stages. Some were never rebuilt and the land they sat on was eventually sold (like the backlot property)" - William F., Jr.
  • "The first of the two worst fires at Goldwyn occurred right before filming of PORGY AND BESS was to commence. It burned down enormous Stage 8, then the largest stage on the lot. Goldwyn built two smaller stages on that site. The second fire took out all the stages behind the offices that front Santa Monica Blvd. This occurred in May of 1974. The fire started on stage 5 where the TV series SIGMUND AND THE SEA MONSTER was being taped. It quickly spread to adjoining stages. Destroyed were stages 1 through 5. Later, four new stages were built. The only original stages left on that lot from the 'golden days' are 6 and 7. Many years ago Stage 6 was subdivided, turning its interior into dubbing, ADR and Foley stages. Stage 7, the former Goldwyn scoring stage where GONE WITH THE WIND was scored is now a shooting stage. It was dismantled as a scoring stage shortly after the fire took out five stages in 1974. Stages 5 & 6 were once stages 8 & 9, built right after stage 8 burned to the ground. They went up around late 1959. [Steve McQueen] was on the lot in 1974 when the stages caught fire and helped fireman put it out. He had been training with them for his role as a fireman in THE TOWERING INFERNO." - Richard P.

aerial view of "The Lot"
(formerly Samuel Goldwyn Studios)
(Bing Maps)

  • "The lot started in 1928 filming Tom Mix movies then progressed to where it is today. The property, a ranch belonged to Mix." - Batfan site
  • "Most of the studio's back lot was sold off in 1961 to Alcoa when Century City was developed, and some of the studio's facilities have been relocated elsewhere to make room for the shopping center. But a good part of the old Fox studios have survived and still remain busy making movies and TV dramas"
  • "The Fox lot was also used extensively during production of "Starsky & Hutch" from 1975-79. They used many of the "Hello Dolly" NY sets as well as the area on the north side of Olympic which is now no longer part of Fox. It was interesting to see the New York sets with the Century City skyscrapers in the background." - Robbie C.
  • "The screening room was right behind Commissioner Gordon's office from the TV version of BATMAN. Remember how the Batmobile would park right in front of the building and Batman and Robin would bound up the stairs? On the other side of the facade was probably the producers watching the Julie Newmar in her cat suit from the day before." - Batfan site
  • USC Digital Archive includes a set of seventeen photos of backlot demolition shot 8-16-1961
  • "western street was on the main lot just north of Pico on the west side of the lot, but not exactly where all the satellite dishes are now located. The road is still in the same place. Some of the buildings on the west side are where the dishes are, but most were north of it. On the other side is where the big crafts building is now located. I worked on that lot from 1982 until I retired in 2003. Back when it was still a western street, I used it when I left to go home. One night while driving down that very street I accidentally ran over a black cat killing it! It had suddenly darted out from one of the building facades." - Richard P.
  • The William Fox Motion Pictures Studio originally stood at Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue.
  • In 1928, Fox moved to what is now Century City, onto land that had earlier been the personal ranch of Western film star Tom Mix
  • In 1935, Fox merged with Twentieth Century Pictures to become Twentieth Century-Fox.
  • "Daniel Boone shot [mock exterior scenes] on stages at the original Fox lot next to De Lux Labs on Western and Sunset, where Perry Mason shot." - Randall R.
  • "Fox - Western had a small backlot built for the TV series BUS STOP. It was on the parcel of land on the west side of Western Avenue with the sets up by Sunset Blvd. They tore out some bungalows to build the sets." - Richard
  • extensive backlot included Colonial Street, Circle Drive, Courthouse Square, Industrial Street, New York Street, etc.
  • "Rawhide and Twilght Zone started at Universal International Lot moved to MGM because the Universal International lot became the Revue Lot. . Revue first Denver Street built to allow more than one TV western to be filmed at the same time. . burned to the ground in 1967 . rebuilt south of the castle in 1967 . this month sections demolished" - Dennis D.
  • backlot included a western street, residential street, Zorro town, commercial district, small lake/pond and forest area
  • founded 1923 by four Warner brothers
  • first Warner studio was on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood in what is now KTLA Television Studios
  • backlot included Kings Row, Midwest Street, etc.
  • "[The Waltons] was shot at Warner Bros. The house was torn down about 8 years ago to make way for a new parking structure behind the old Warner Records building. I haven't seen the first season episodes, but at the time there was a small train station set that bordered the spanish town square and the converted Camelot set(then being used for Kung Fu). The two western towns are gone now, one having burned down in the 90's I believe and the other (used in Hearts of the West , F Troop and the last Maverick TV series in the 80's) torn down to make room for "Warner Village", a group of offices made to look like a residential street." - Dave
  • "WB's Laramie Street was built in 1957. I keep reading that the set was never used or was used only 10 days in the last decade of its life, but this simply isn't true. In addition to the already mentioned "Purgatory" It worked every day for an entire year on the "Brisco County" TV series, extensively in the feature film "Wild Bill" and in a more limited way in both "Wild Wild West" and "Maverick," as well as numerous commercials, music videos, documentaries, photo shoots and special events. But studio real estate being as valuable as it is, the studio did reluctantly bulldoze the set on May 16, 2003." - Steve
  • "Maverick had it's main street set fully dressed on the sound stages on the Warner Bros Burbank lot." - Randall R.
  • "The original "Walton" house, which was a standing set even before the series, burned down shortly after the original show completed production. It was rebuilt in 1992 for a reunion movie and was used about the same time for a feature film "Sleepwalkers." In 1995 when a parking structure invaded that section of the backlot most of the house was demolished, except for several stock pieces, which were reassembled at the Warner Ranch in 1997 for the latest (to date) reunion movie ("A Walton Easter") and is still there. This revamped set replaced the old "Fantasy Island" house, which had previously been on this site." - Steve
  • "I worked "Fantasy Island" for 3 seasons, and was there when the "Apple's Way" house [at the Ranch] became Rourke's headquarters. They used the existing structure to a great extent (adding the Queen Anne white and red trim did most of the work). Near by were some cabins originally built for "Here Come The Brides". They were painted red & white as well, and joined the Island." - Gary R.
  • "The Fantasy Island house at the WB ranch was a copy (more or less) of an actual Queen Anne cottage which you can still visit at the LA Arboretum. Apparently The Fantasy Island crew got tired of having to drive out there every week for every episode, so the structure was duplicated on-lot. It's funny how easily the "tropical" foliage in the background repurposed to play the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia." - Steve
  • Ziv-TV was "the first major first-run television syndicator, creating several long-lived series in the 1950s and selling them directly to regional sponsors, who in turn sold the shows to local stations." (from
  • bought facilities from American National Studios in Dec. 1954 leased space at California Studios prior to this
  • had small one-sided street facade adjacent to an elevated soundstage

Albertson/Russell Ranch (name circa 1960)

Big Sky Ranch (name circa 1960)

Little House on the Prairie

Circle J Ranch (name circa 1960)

Columbia Ranch
(see entry under Section 1: Studios)

  • In about 1937, Ray "Crash" Corrigan invested in a property on the western Santa Susana Pass in California's Simi Valley and Santa Susana Mountains
  • facility included a sound stage
  • "Trem Carr was an early film producer, beginning as early as 1926 with the Trem Carr Productions Ltd. W. Ray Johnston's Rayart Pictures Corp. distributed Carr's films. In 1928, Johnston and Carr began Syndicate Pictures. In 1931, they formed Monogram Pictures. That same year, Carr took out a five-year lease on land in Placerita Canyon in the area which is now owned by the Disney Corporation." - Jerry S., from

Famous Players-Lasky Movie Ranch - Ahmanson 'Lasky Mesa' Ranch (name circa 1960)
Location: Lasky Mesa in the southern Simi Hills

Iverson Movie Ranch (name circa 1960)
Location: in the Simi Hills on Santa Susana Pass above Chatsworth, California

Wagon Train
The Lone Ranger
The Cisco Kid (syndicated series)

Jack Ingram Western Movie Ranch (name circa 1960)

Have Gun Will Travel
Wanted: Dead or Alive
The Lone Ranger
The Cisco Kid (syndicated series)
The Beverly Hillbillies (ranch used as "Clampett City")

Janss Ranch (name circa 1960)

  • ". had a small lake and was used for the exteriors of the carnival set in Hitchcock's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN as well as the only feature Charles Laughton directed which was NIGHT OF THE HUNTER." - Rich
  • Originally known as 'Placeritos Ranch'
  • "The old "Monogram" Ranch, real name Placerito Ranch, was owned by Ernie Hickson, not Monogram Studios, and was located in Placerita Canyon, north of the current Highway 14 (see my web page: ." - Jerry S.
  • "current western street is a new rebuilt one, somewhat approximating the original final ones at the ranch. The original streets and a lot of the outlying buildings burned in 1962." - Jerry S.

Morrison Agoura Ranch (name circa 1960)

North Ranch (name circa 1960)

  • in 1927, Paramount Studios purchased a 2,700-acre ranch on Malibu Creek in the Santa Monica Mountain
  • "For over sixty years this site as been used as Tombstone, Arizona, Dodge City & most other towns. TV series such as CHIPS, Duke of Hazards & Charlie's Angels, many classic westerns including Gunfight at the OK Corral & many John Wayne films have been shot here. The ranch is still a working movie ranch Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman is filmed here by CBS on weekdays in the Western Town on the ranch. Other filming also takes place here in 1999 several sets were built for The Flintstones: Viva Rock Vegas"
  • "built for film and tv productions from the late 1940's." - Jerry S.
  • facility included a sound stage

Rancho Maria (name circa 1960)
("may be more modern for tv use, but used for films")

Sable Ranch (name circa 1960)
("may be more modern for tv use, but used for films")

Sanford's Winter Teams Earn Numerous Honors

Coaches present a member of their team with the Sportsmanship Award at the end of each season. When reviewing the following list of state and conference honorees, also take note of those students in both the Upper and Middle Schools who were recognized by their coaches for their sportsmanship. Sanford has always placed a great deal of emphasis, along with education and modeling, on the value of being a humble winner, a gracious loser, and a respectful fan. Being a good sport is a part of Sanford’s core values, and Samonisky is understandably proud to point out that, since 2012, the school has annually been awarded the DIAA State Champion of Sportsmanship. (The 2019 award winner will be announced later this year.)

The following is a list, by sport, of Sanford students who earned All-Conference and All-State honors—along with additional recognition—during the winter season.

DWA Academic All-State
1st Team: Wyatt Seder-Burnaford and Andrew Kedash 󈥶
Honorable Mention: Tayg Murray 󈥵 and Justin Griffith

March 9th in history:

On March 9th, 1965, more than two thousand civil rights demonstrators led by Martin Luther King Jr. marched to the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama for the second time in three days. State troopers had physically attacked marchers on March 7th, to keep them from crossing the bridge on a trek from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery. The March 9th demonstration ended with the group turning back at the bridge because of a court order blocking the march. The full march to Montgomery was permitted later that month.

The “original” Martin Luther earned a bachelor’s degree in Bible studies on this date in 1508, a year after becoming a Catholic priest. Five years later, on March 9th, 1513, the pope who would eventually excommunicate Luther was elected. Giovanni de Medici took the papal name Leo X.

The shout “Attaboy, Luther!” is a running joke in the Don Knotts comedy “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken,” written by Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum. Fritzell was only 59 when he died on this date in 1979. He and Greenbaum worked as a writing team for decades, contributing to many popular TV series including “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Mister Peepers,” “Sanford and Son,” and “M*A*S*H”.


Life and career [ edit | edit source ]

Ed was born in Griffin, Georgia, the son of an Episcopal minister, and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Ohio and Wheeling, West Virginia. As a child, he attended Pittsburgh's Nixon Theatre and would nab a balcony seat so as to catch a good view of the 'headliners'. At age 12, he did a walk-on in a stock theatre production which featured James Gleason and he was 'hooked' on an acting career.

Ed attended the University of Virginia, and at age 21, made his stage debut in 1935, progressing to Broadway by 1935. During this period, Andrews starred in the short-lived but very well received military drama "So Proudly We Hail" in the lead role opposite Richard Cromwell. In 1936, Andrews debuted in the film Rushin' Art. However, it was not until 1955 that he appeared in his second film. He was cast as the subversive and corrupt character of Rhett Tanner, head of a knock-them-off political machine, in The Phenix City Story.

Films [ edit | edit source ]

While Andrews' film acting career began in earnest in his forties, he was consistently typecast as a grandfatherly type, and thus he is most strongly associated with these roles in later films. Among his roles are those that are soft and friendly though Andrews was equally adept at portraying sleazy businessman types or sinister bureaucrats and officials.

Well-known films in which Andrews acted include Send Me No Flowers(1964) , with Doris Day and Rock Hudson, Advise and Consent (1962), The Harder They Fall (1956), The Young Savages (1961), Elmer Gantry (1960), in which he was memorable as George F. Babbitt, The Absent-Minded Professor and Son of Flubber (1963), in both of which he played the Defense Secretary, and Avanti!, in which he was a very convincing agent of the State Department. Among his other film credits are: Summertime (1955) with Katharine Hepburn Tension at Table Rock (1956) The Harder They Fall (1956) with Humphrey Bogart Tea and Sympathy (1956) Three Brave Men (1957) The Young Doctors (1961) Youngblood Hawke (1964) Good Neighbor Sam (1964) The Glass Bottom Boat (1966) "The Trouble with Girls with Elvis Presley (1969)"Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) as Admiral Harold R. Stark How to Frame a Figg (1971) Charley and the Angel (1973) and The Seniors (1978). In 1984, he played the character of Howard Baker in John Hughes' Sixteen Candles. He also appeared in Gremlins, filmed later the same year, which would be his final film.

Television roles [ edit | edit source ]

Ed also guested on many television series including: Thriller (U.S. TV series), Goodyear Television Playhouse, Hands of Mystery, The United States Steel Hour, Justice, Cheyenne, The Twilight Zone, The Eleventh Hour, Route 66, Naked City, Gunsmoke, Rawhide, Bonanza, Alias Smith and Jones, The Wild Wild West, The F.B.I., The Beverly Hillbillies, Sanford and Son, Ellery Queen, The Invaders, Bewitched, Hawaii Five-O, Charlie's Angels, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Bob Newhart Show. He was a regular on the series: Broadside (1964–1965) as Commander Rogers Adrian. He played the character of Charley in the 1966 dramatization of Death of a Salesman, and constantly acted throughout the 1970s as Elton Dykstra on The Intruders, Ernest W. Stanley on The Man Who Came to Dinner, Mayor Chrisholm alongside Don Knotts in the 1971 film How to Frame a Figg, and Mayor Massey on The Whiz Kid and the Mystery at Riverton (1974). In 1968, he played a safecracker in a 4-part episode of I Dream of Jeannie. He played Conductor Harry Flood on the short-lived series Supertrain. He played Jack Tripper's grandfather in an episode of the ABC-TV sitcom series Three's Company.

Family and personal life [ edit | edit source ]

Ed and his wife Emily had two daughters and a son. He was an avid yachtsman and loved sailing. He died of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 70 and was cremated, his ashes scattered at sea.

Stanford reverses decision to cut 11 of its varsity sports programs

Stanford University has reversed the decision to cut 11 of its varsity sports programs. In an announcement on Tuesday, the school said the school backtracked in part because of "an improved financial picture with increased fundraising potential."

At the time of the original decision in July of 2020, the university received heavy backlash after it announced the following sports would be discontinued:

  • Men's and women's fencing
  • Field hockey
  • Lightweight rowing
  • Men's rowing
  • Co-ed and women's sailing
  • Squash
  • Synchronized swimming
  • Men's volleyball
  • Wrestling

Stanford initially cited unspecified "serious and growing" financial challenges as the reason behind the mass disintegration, though there was a promise of honoring student-athlete scholarships, even to those who committed to the school for those programs. On Tuesday, the school said alumni rallied behind the cause to save the varsity programs.

"We have new optimism based on new circumstances, including vigorous and broad-based philanthropic interest in Stanford Athletics on the part of our alumni, which have convinced us that raising the increased funds necessary to support all 36 of our varsity teams is an approach that can succeed," Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said.

The original decision resulted in federal lawsuits from the athletes affected, as well as on-field protests such as blacking out the school's name and logo from uniforms.

The most notable example was championship wrestler Shane Griffith, who won a national championship in an all-black singlet and then also was seen wearing a hoodie that read "Keep Stanford Wrestling!"

Stanford's Shane Griffith has become a national champion after the school made the decision to cut its wrestling program.

Griffith and teammates wore black singlets in the NCAA championships in response to the program being dropped.

Though Stanford is the biggest name of the bunch, it is still the latest school to reverse course on cutting numerous athletic programs. Other schools that have made similar reversals are William & Mary, Dartmouth and Bowling Green.

Watch the video: Rare Mayberry Cast Reunion on Nashville Now Pt 2