Sony Pictures Studios
he Sony Pictures Studios are a television and film studio complex
located in Culver City, California at 10202 West Washington Boulevard
and bounded by Culver Boulevard (south), Washington Boulevard (north),
Overland Avenue (west) and Madison Avenue (east). The facility is owned
by Sony Pictures Entertainment and houses the division's film companies
Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures.
In addition to films shot at the facility, several television shows
have been broadcast live or taped there. The lot, which is open to the
public for daily studio tours, currently houses a total of sixteen
separate sound stages.
Main article: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
In 1924, Loews Theatres President Marcus Loew organized the merger of
three film companies – The Metro Pictures Corporation, Goldwyn Studios
and Louis B. Mayer Productions to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and occupying
the Goldwyn production facilities.
In the Golden Age of Hollywood, MGM Studios was responsible for
shooting 52 films a year, from screen epics such as Gone with the Wind
(although it was shot in the Culver Studios), Ben-Hur, and Mutiny on the
Bounty, to drawing-room dramas such as Grand Hotel, Dinner At Eight, and
Anna Karenina. But it was the Technicolor musicals, including The Wizard
of Oz, Singin' in the Rain and Gigi that MGM was best known for. MGM’s
success led to six working studio complexes, more than 180 acres (0.73
km2) including twenty-eight soundstages – Stage 15 is the second largest
sound stage in the world, and Stage 27 served as "Munchkinland" in the
production of The Wizard of Oz.
In addition to the main production building, MGM added two large
backlot facilities – Lot 2 located opposite the main studio across
Overland Avenue. Lot 3 entered the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and
Overland Avenue and was MGM’s largest backlot. The administration
building was inaugurated in 1938 and was named for Thalberg.
However, the United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. anti-trust
case of 1948 severed MGM's connection with Loews Theaters, and it
struggled through its affairs. In 1969, millionaire Kirk Kerkorian
bought MGM and proceeded to dismantle the studio. MGM’s film memorabilia
was sold through an 18-day auction, and 38 acres (150,000 m2) of the
studio’s backlots were sold. Lot 3 was razed while Lot 2 was sold to
housing developments. Kerkorian used the money into constructing his
hotel chain, the MGM Grand Hotels.
In the 1980s, Kerkorian acquired United Artists and sold MGM/UA
Entertainment Co. to Ted Turner who, after 74 days, sold MGM/UA back to
Kerkorian while retaining the pre-1986 MGM film library. In 1986, the
studio was sold to Lorimar Productions. During that time, the MGM logo
was removed from the studios and moved across the street to the Filmland
Building (now known as Sony Pictures Plaza) before their 1992 move to
Santa Monica and finally settling in Century City.
Sony Pictures Studios
After Warner Bros. acquired Lorimar in 1993, Sony purchased the MGM
Studios from Warner Bros. Sony's newly acquired Columbia Pictures had
been sharing with Warner Bros. their studio lot in Burbank in a
partnership called the Burbank Studios beginning in 1972. The property
underwent a three-year comprehensive plan as it transitioned to the 45
acres (0.18 km2) Sony Pictures Studios complex.
Sony acquired the property, first renamed Columbia Studios, in poor
condition and thereafter invested $100 million to renovate the studio
complex. They painted and upgraded the buildings, many of which still
bore the names of film luminaries such as Clark Gable, Judy Garland,
Rita Hayworth and Burt Lancaster. They erected new walls around the lot
and restored the ironwork gates. They also added nostalgic art deco and
false fronts on Main Street, plus hand-painted murals of Columbia film
The Sony Pictures Studios has one of the best post-production
facilities available and is open to the public for tours. The studio
continues to record TV sitcoms such as Rules of Engagement. The
long-running game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune and its spin-offs
are taped at Sony. The revival of American Gladiators was also taped