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More Early Hollywood Movie Studios and Photos

Burns and Revier Studio

For some unexplainable reason, one of Hollywood’s earliest movie makers, Harry M. Revier, has been completely overlooked by most film historians.  L.L. Burns, who later started Western Costume Company, and Harry Revier joined together to form Burns and Revier Studio and Laboratory in 1912.  In early 1913, after vacating their first studio at Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, they leased from Hollywood resident Jacob Stern, some property and a portion of a barn at the southeast corner of Vine Street and Selma Avenue in Hollywood.  The barn was L-shaped, with one of its faded yellow wings facing Vine Street and the other stretched back, parallel with Selma Avenue, into an orange grove.  Adjacent to the east side of the barn, Revier built a 40 x 60 foot wood platform stage and covered it with sheets of muslin to control and diffuse the intense sunlight. Some of the best movie studio photos are on the hollywoodphotographs.com web site.

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Jesse Lasky

Dressing rooms, an office and a small laboratory to develop films were established in the Selma wing of the barn.  Stern, who lived across the street, retained the rest of the barn for his horses and carriages.  During the next few months, Revier made several films starring James Horne at this location.  With production sporatic, the studio was rented to other independent film producers.

While Harry Revier was busy filming in Hollywood, Cecil B. DeMille, a stage actor, director and producer; Jesse Lasky, a theater man; Samuel Goldfish, a glove salesman, and Lasky’s brother-in-law; and a lawyer named Arthur Friend, banded together to form the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company in 1913.  They persuaded Dustin Farnum, one of the biggest stars of the day, to star in their first film, “The Squaw Man”.

Cecil B. DeMille

In December, 1913, Cecil B.DeMille, Farnum and a small troupe went west from New York to begin filming their first movie.  They planned to set up production in Flagstaff, Arizona. When they arrived, they realized that the scenery was too desolate and unsuitable for their needs.  They re-boarded the train and continued on to a place they had heard of called Hollywood.  Looking for a place to film their first production, DeMille sub-leased the Burns and Revier Studio for four months at $250 per month, with a three year renewal option.

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DeMille moved into the east wing of the barn while the owner of the property, Mr. Jacob Stern, continued to keep his horses in the other half.  Whenever the horses were watered, the water ran through into DeMille’s office and the director was forced to wear galoshes or put his feet in the wastebasket.  Production of “The Squaw Man” began on December 29, 1913 with many of the exterior scenes being filmed Utah, Wyoming and in the foothills of Hollywood .  Directed by Oscar Apfel and Cecil B. DeMille, the film was completed in 1914 on a budget of $15,450 and grossed over $225,000.  After several films were successfully completed and distributed, the studio began to expand rapidly, and within eighteen months, it occupied the entire block. The Jesse Lasky Feature Play Company later became Famous Players Lasky Studio which later became Paramount Studios in 1926.

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Paramount Studio

By 1925, the Famous Players Lasky Corporation studio was feeling the need for more space, so in 1926, they purchased and moved to the vast United Studios at Marathon Street and Van Ness Avenue. The old studio facility at Sunset Blvd. and Vine Street was immediately demolished, except for the old barn used in making “The Squaw Man.”  The barn was moved to the new studio location where it was used for many purposes. Forty years later, on December 27, 1956, the barn was dedicated California State Landmark #554 in ceremonies attended by such movie moguls as Jesse Lasky, Cecil B. DeMille, Adolph Zukor, Frank Freeman and Samuel Goldwyn.

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In 1927 the studio’s name was changed to Paramount-Famous Lasky Corporation and in 1930, it was changed again – this time to Paramount Publix. Five years later, the name Paramount Pictures Incorporated emerged. Most commonly, it is referred to Paramount Studio.

hollywoodphotographs.com

Hollywoodphotographs.com website has more that 1500 photos of movie studios and other vintage hollywood images, including Hollywood Canteen, Brown Derby restaurant, and Chines Theater. 

 

 

 

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