In 1990 the grand old M-G-M studio in Culver City, where "The Wizard of Oz" was filmed, was finally purchased by Sony Entertainment of Japan. The historic studio is now home to both Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures, which are both divisions of Sony.
Their releases in the past decade have included the "Amazing Spider-Man" reboot,
"Zero Dark Thirty, "Skyfall", "Looper", "Total Recall", "21 Jump Street", "The Social Network", "Salt", "The Ugly Truth", "2012", "Zombieland",
"The House Bunny", "Step Brothers", "Hancock",
"Pineapple Express", the "Spider-Man"
movies, "Evan Almighty," "Ghost Rider,"
"Click," "The Da Vinci Code,"
"Basic Instict II," "The Legend of Zorrro,"
"The Producers," "Hitch," "Bewitched," "Big Fish, "Peter
Pan," "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle,"
"Something's Gotta Give," "Men in Black II," "Black Hawk Down,"
"Air Force One," "Jerry Maguire,"
"My Best Friend's Wedding," "I Know What
You Did Last Summer," "Starship Troopers,"
"Urban Legend," "Wild Things,"
"Fly Away Home," "Sense and Sensibility,"
"The American President," "Jumanji,"
"To Die For," "First Knight,"
"Philadelphia," "Sleepless in Seattle,"
"Rudy," "The Age of Innocence,"
"Look Who's Talking Now," "Legends of the Fall,"
"Remains of the Day," "Cliffhanger,"
"Groundhog Day," "A Few Good Men,"
and "In the Line of Fire," plus a notable flop or two:
Mariah Carey's "Glitter,"
Schwarzenegger's "The Last
Action Hero" and Jim Carrey's
"The Cable Guy."
Sony's films have featured
stars such as Tom Cruise, Will Smith,
Julia Roberts, Jack
Nicholson, Harrison Ford, Helen Hunt,
Robin Williams, Demi Moore,
Michael Douglas, Brad Pitt,
Tom Hanks, Denzel
Washington, Meg Ryan,
John Travolta, Sly Stallone,
Sean Connery, Michael Keaton,
Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore,
Cameron Diaz, Jessica Lange,
Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins,
and Clint Eastwood.
Sony Pictures Studios offers a two-hour guided walking tour of the studio. Click here to read about the tour.
You can also call "Audiences Unlimited"
to see if they are taping any sitcoms at the studio right now. In the past,
they taped "The King of Queens," "Living
with Fran" (with Fran Drescher), "Bette",
"Mad About You" and "Donny & Marie"
on the lot - not to mention "Jeopardy"
or "Wheel of Fortune."
If they are, you can get tickets to watch the shows being taped live inside
(Until a few years ago, Columbia Pictures
shared Burbank Studios with Warner Bros.
Before that, the original Columbia Studios was located at what is now called
the Sunset-Gower Studios. For more on the early history of Columbia
films, see the separate page about Sunset-Gower
Update: In September
of 2004, Sony announced that it had bought MGM for $5 billion. There's
a touch of irony in this, since Sony has owned the old MGM studios for
years. Sony acquired MGM mainly in order to get the company's library of
films, which is believed to be its most valuable asset. It constitutted
the biggest library of color movies in the world, including franchises
such as "James Bond", "The Pink Panther" and "Rocky".
Word is that MGM will continue to operate as a private company, and will
continue to put out several films a year, with Sony co-producing and co-financing.
To read more about the historic MGM Studios in Culver City, click here.
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Copyright © 2013-Gary Wayne
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