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Early Movie Studios


Early Hollywood Studios

The first studio to arrive in Hollywood was Nestors Film Company, who rented the Blondeau Tavern at Sunset Blvd. & Gower St. in October 1911.  It wasn’t long before there were scores of small motion picture companies moving to Hollywood.  All of the companies migrated from the east coast or around the city of Chicago.  Because this industry was in it’s genesis, all these film companies were very small. Some of these small companies included, among others, the California Film Co., Quality Film Co., and Christie Comedies.  As the industry grew, consolidation began to take place and as it did, many of the small companies were either acquired or went out of business.


Jesse Lasky Co.

At the same time consolidation was taking place, some studios were growing organically.   One of the earliest Hollywood Studios was the Jessie Lasky Company which had its two block studio at the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Vine St.  Lasky  merged with the Famous Players Company to form the Famous Players Lasky Company.  As the company grew, so did the size of its studio until it encompassed more than two square blocks.

By the mid-1920s, the company was outgrowing its studio.  In 1926, the

company changed its name to Paramount Studios and relocated to a new studio at Melrose Ave and Van Ness Ave


Culver City

As the geographic area of Hollywood had more studios than any other area in Southern California, the small community of Culver City began attracting  some studios of their own.  One of the first film producers to settle in Culver City was Thomas Ince. Ince was a film producer with the New York Motion Picture Company and was making movies in the Santa Monica mountains, near the Pacific Ocean.  Known as Inceville, the facility was where Ince made scores of two and three reel westerns.  Real Estate developer, Harry Culver,  approached Ince  and convinced him to build a studio on Washington Blvd.  After moving into his new studio, Ince began making many fine films.  Later, the studio was taken over by Samuel Goldwyn and then it became home to MGM. 

The best photographs of Hollywood Studios is on the Hollywood web site.



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