“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hollywood in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

CBS Columbia Square Studios

CBS Columbia Square Studios Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, May 7, 2019
1. CBS Columbia Square Studios Marker
On this site was established the first motion picture studio in Hollywood, October 27, 1911.

CBS Columbia Square Studios, International style. William Lescaze, architect. Earl Heitschmidt, associate architect. Built 1938. Declared 2009. Historic-Cultural Monument No. 947, Cultural Heritage Commission, City of Los Angeles.
Erected 2009 by City of Los Angeles. (Marker Number 947.)
Location. 34° 5.89′ N, 118° 19.381′ W. Marker is in Hollywood, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street, on the right when traveling west on Sunset Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6121 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90028, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of the Vine Street Brown Derby (approx. ¼ mile away); Hollywood & Vine (approx. 0.3 miles away); Warner Brothers Studio (approx. 0.3 miles away); Capitol Records Building (approx. 0.4 miles away); Warner Pacific Theatre
CBS Columbia Square Studios Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, May 7, 2019
2. CBS Columbia Square Studios Marker
(approx. half a mile away); Buster Keaton Studios (approx. 0.6 miles away); Hattie McDaniel (approx. ¾ mile away); The Pig ‘n Whistle (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hollywood.
Regarding CBS Columbia Square Studios. In 1911, Nestor Film Company of New Jersey opened the first movie studio located in Hollywood, and the first motion picture stage in Hollywood was built here. Other East Coast studios had moved production to Southern California prior to Nestor's move west, because the California weather allowed for year-round filming. The Christie Film Company eventually took over operations, but went out of business in 1933 during the Great Depression.

Columbia Square was built in 1938 for KNX radio and as the CBS radio West Coast operations center, designed by Swiss-born architect William Lescaze in the style of International Modernism.

Columbia Square became home to some of the best-known programs of radio's golden age. Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, Edgar Bergen, Bing Crosby, and Red Skelton took to the airways from the Square. Dramas included Suspense; Gunsmoke; The Whistler; and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.

<i>Nestor Studios, exterior</i> image. Click for full size.
courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library, Security Pacific National Bank Collection, circa 1916
3. Nestor Studios, exterior
"The first motion picture studio in Hollywood was built by David Horseley for Christie Film Co. Automobiles are lined up at Sunset Blvd., with Gower Street at right. The sign above the building reads "Christie Film Co.", and "Nestor Comedies, Universal Films." The photo includes Charles Christie, Horace Davey, Al Christie, Nadgi, head cameraman; George French, Gus Alexander, Harry Rattenburg, Lee Moran, Eddie Lyons, Billie Rhodes, and Eddie Barry...." - LAPL
the late 1940s and early 1950s Columbia Square also served as a CBS television facility, and it was the location of the shooting of the pilot episode of I Love Lucy. James Dean worked as an usher here. Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand and many other top stars recorded legendary music hits.

KNX radio moved out in 2005, and in 2007 KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV moved their operations to Studio City, ending Columbia Square's status as a broadcast facility. Today it is a mixed-use campus of apartments and offices, including three renovated historic structures.
Categories. ArchitectureArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
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Credits. This page was last revised on May 14, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 12, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 12, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.   3. submitted on May 14, 2019. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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