1040 North Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038
This historic studio has been operational since the 1920s and has seen some classic productions.
It was renamed Sunset Las Palmas Studios in 2017, and was formerly Hollywood Center Studios.
Also known as:
- Hollywood Studios Inc.
- Hollywood Metropolitan Studios
- Metropolitan Sound Studio
- General Service Studios
- American Zoetrope Studios
- Hollywood Center Studios
- Sunset Las Palmas Studios
Productions shot at Sunset Las Palmas Studios
Designer John Jasper quits Charlie Chaplin’s studios after 13 years of experience and builds three production stages on a 16.5 acre undeveloped tract of land in Hollywood, in order to start his own production company. The studios are named Hollywood Studios Inc. and are described by Moving Picture World magazine as a “studio that will contain four stages, each with a space of 70 x 120 feet… to be built of steel and glass. Each stage will be able to be darkened at any time, without any trouble involved. Attached to each stage will be offices, dressing rooms and other facilities.”
An additional stage is built, along with several exterior sets on the back lot as producers working at the studio include Marshall Neilan, Albert Kaufman, King Vidor, and Marion Fairfax.
Comedian Harold Lloyd leaves the Hal Roach Studios and relocates his company to Hollywood Studios Inc. One of Lloyd’s classics, Grandma’s Boys, was shot at the studios.
Hollywood Studios is bought by a group of LA businessmen.
The studio changes ownership again when B.P.Shulberg buys a controlling interest for Preferred Pictures Corp.
January: John Jasper and the studio operator C.E. Toberman leave the studio as it’s sold for the third time to Al and Charles Christie, producers of the Christie Comedies and owners of the Christies Film Corporation. Toberman retained the frontage property on Santa Monica Boulevard, and the studio entrance moves to the Las Palmas side of the property. The new studio manager is William Sistrom, formerly a production manager at Universal City. The lot is renamed Hollywood / Metropolitan Studios.
Howard Hughes appoints himself president of Cado Pictures, located on the Hollywood / Metropolitan Studios lot.
As sound movies transform the industry, Metropolitan Studios begins construction of sound stages.
Hollywood / Metropolitan Studios is renamed Metropolitan Sound Studio, with Stages 1 & 2 outfitted with Warner Bros Vitaphone equipment.
One of the most popular and enduring shows in the history of television, I Love Lucy came to life in 1951 on Stage 2 at Hollywood Center Studios. Based on the radio show My Favorite Husband, starring Lucille Ball and Richard Denning, the series almost didn’t get off the ground when CBS initially balked at Ball’s demand that her husband, Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz, play the other lead. The network also expressed skepticism over the stars’ insistence that the show be shot in Hollywood to accommodate Ball, who was pregnant.
Desilu moves to Motion Picture Center.
Desilu buys RKO
1980, March 14
The studio lot is bought by Francis Ford Coppola for his use. It’s renamed American Zoetrope Studios.
Coppola’s One From The Heart (1982) made extensive use of the studio – the entire lot was transformed into a giant set that included a replica of part of Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport. However, cost overruns on the film combined with its poor box office performance caused Coppola to fall into financial difficulties and the lot was sold again, this time to Canadian real estate developers, the Singer Family.
The Singer Family initiated a comprehensive modernization and refurbishing effort that sparked a revival of the lot’s fortunes and attracted a new generation of feature film and commercial filmmakers. The Singers also returned television production to the lot by adding control rooms and the infrastructure required for multi-camera video production. The lot again became home to some of the country’s most popular shows, including “Jeopardy,” “Star Search,” “The Man Show” (which helped make Jimmy Kimmel a star) and the Emmy Award-winning children’s series “Pee Wee’s Playhouse.”
In a multi-million dollar investment, the renamed Hollywood Center Studios lot’s control rooms, camera packages and infrastructure were upgraded to HDTV. This was done to support television clients such as Disney, which produced numerous kid- and teen-oriented series on the lot. Three cyc stages were added, one dedicated to green screen production. A virtual set stage was also built to provide a cost-effective way to produce high-quality content for broadcast and the web. Additionally, production office space more than doubled, providing homes for dozens of independent companies, representing every niche in the industry.
Hudson Pacific Properties acquires Hollywood Center Studios from the Singer family and renames it Sunset Las Palmas Studios, where it joins an existing portfolio of legendary Hollywood Studios including Sunset Gower and Sunset Bronson Studios.