|Blondeau Tavern soon to be Nestor Studios|
It opened at the former Blondeau Tavern (above). Nestor didn't remain autonomous for long though. Carl Laemmle, of Independent Motion Pictures (IMP), absorbed the company along with several others in 1912. Afterwhich, Nestor head David Horsley and former Nestor Director Al Christie made pictures under the new Laemmle banner of Universal Pictures.
|Same site in 1913|
|Christie lot 1926|
|Demolition of Christie Studios, 1937|
And, every once in a while, progress is not such a horrible thing.....
|CBS Columbia Square|
|Columbia Square opening April 30, 1938|
|Columbia Square Lobby|
|View from the stage of the 1000 seat studio A|
|The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Studio A|
|Lucille Ball and Richard Denning "My Favorite Husband"|
|Agnes Moorehead's legendary performance of "Sorry Wrong Number"|
Columbia Square is something of a ghost town now* since local CBS affiliate KCBS and KNX radio left a few years back. The property is in the hands of new owners who, of course, plan new and dense and tall construction -- once this wacky economy clears up. They have promised though to preserve Columbia Square. Meanwhile some of the space is being rented out to production companies, mostly of the reality TV variety. But it seems as though only 30-40% of the over 100,000 square feet are being used.
So today, on this most special day, I snuck in! I boldly walked into the lobby, prepared to go into a riff about my historical walking tour and the significance of the building and the necessity of my walking through it. I was also prepared to get summarily thrown out on my can. But, don't you know there was no one sitting at the sweater-draped chair behind the receptionist desk! I was home free. I knew once I was inside that if I was spotted, I would be assumed to be an employee of one of the tenants. So in I slipped. It was a bit disappointing. Much of the grandeur and streamline of the place was done over (seemingly in the '70s). But I walked up to the roof top and went to the deck that surrounds the penthouse office (vacant) to snap these pictures just for you of Hollywood on it's 100th birthday:
|The roof looking North East.|
|The roof looking along the Penthouse wall to North West. You can barely make out the Hollywood Sign on top of the hill.|
Many of the photos above come from the fabulous facebook page CBS Columbia Square Alumni.
*Ghost town indeed. Scores of former employees from the building insist that, not only does the spirit of CBS founder and president William Paley inhabit the building, but so does that of former KNX morning DJ/television star Bob Crane (Hogan's Heroes).