1930s – Warner Bros. 1945 – Universal: 1951 – MGM: Share this:TwitterFacebookPinterestLike this:Like Loading...
I have had a life long fascination with the old sound stages of Hollywood. I still remember fondly my friend and agent taking onto the 20th Century Fox lot and through a few sound stages and the set of Family to meet two of the editors of MASH, Willie Nevarro and Pat Shade (?). I was so excited to see everything, I even got to see where the gals parked their cars who were on Charlie’s Angels. What a morning!
I remember riding a bike around the lot where I wasn’t supposed to be and getting a stern talking to (richly deserved). My favorite places aren’t the stages but the storage vaults/caverns/basements full of a hundred years of costumes and props and furniture. Well, that’s kind of an exaggeration – sometimes the studios do a spring cleaning and they sell things off – when they’re being stupid they take truckloads of ancient goods and pour them into landfill – but they’re better about archiving now than they used to be.
I cannot begin to imagine how much of a treasure trove those storage facilities must be. Memories galore.:-D
For my 16th birthday my present was a tour of Universal when the studio first opened up to the public. I was small and intimate. There was a castle set from “The Warlord” on the hill where the theme park is now and a small museum with costumes. I remember we got to go into Lana Turner’s dressing room and also get out of the tram and wander though the props stage. I recall a huge painting of Edward G. Robinson there. Also up on the hill were the chariots of Yul Brenner and Charlton Heston from “The Ten Commandments” and Elizabeth Taylor’s golden gown and headdress from “Cleopatra”. I saw the old residential street where The Munster’s house was just a few doors down from the Leave It to Beaver house. That was all moved up on the hill. In those days it abutted the River next to the studio. There were no rides then, just a very wonderful tour of a working studio.
I remember the chill I got seeing the Bates Motel and Norman Bates Victorian house on the hill behind it. And it amazed me to learn that so much of “Spartacus” was filmed on the back lot. When the slaves were escaping over the hill from the Lunesta of Batiatus they were heading for Van Nuys!
In the late 70’s my Cousin Dan drove me onto the Fox lot where the “Hello Dolly” Set still stood. THAT was amazing. Designed my the master city builder John De Cuir.
So anyway these are wonderful shots …thank you.
I just heard about a trove of movie posters and lobby cards used as insulation in someone’s attic. It’s hard to believe what’s squirreled away around here 😉
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