5300 Melrose Ave. (at Bronson),
Hollywood, CA. / (323) 466-3111
little-known studio is located directly across the street from the giant
Paramount Studios. Raleigh
may not be the most prestigious, but it is one of the oldest studios
in Hollywood, dating back to February of 1915 (beating Paramount to the
intersection of Melrose & Bronson by over a decade).
The studio never became a household name, and settled
mainly for renting out its back lot and sound stages to other production
What is now Raleigh was first known as
Clune Studios back in the 1920's. Later, it was called California
Studio, and later still, Producers Studios Inc.
It was the filming site for such classic movies as
"In the Heat of the Night," with Rod Steiger
and Sidney Poitier (which won
the Oscar for Best Picture of 1967), "The Best Years
of Our Lives" (the Best Picture of 1946), "What Ever Happened
to Baby Jane" (1962, with Bette Davis
and Joan Crawford) and the original
"A Star is Born" (1937) with Janet
The studio as it looked when it was
known as Produceers Studio, c. 1976.
The studio as it looked in 1980,
the year it first became Raleigh Studios.
This is the 650 Bronson Entrance. The modern glass office center
seen in the (top right) photo above had not yet been built.
The Raleigh Studios backlot, c. 1980,
showing the facade of the soundstage with
the Mexican Cantina set used for the Hopalong Cassidy films in the '30s. It was in
use then as the studio cafeteria.
also filmed well-known TV series here, such as the first few years of "Gunsmoke"
(with James Arness as marshal
"Death Valley Days" (starring future
President Ronald Reagan) and
"Have Gun Will Travel" (with Richard Boone
when Kevin Costner was first getting
started, he worked at Raleigh Studios as a grip, taking his free time to
read scripts and audition for parts.
It became Raleigh Studios in 1980, and has
since concentrated mainly on television programs, independent films, and
commercials. But among the indies, it's the largest and most in demand.
So much so that in 1998, Raleigh inked a deal to manage the new Manhattan
Beach Studios (in addition to its Hollywood lot), which will make Raleigh
"the area's largest independent studio group in terms of stages."
MGM/UA also recently shot the sci-fi epic "Supernova"
In 1998, Raleigh Studios was the site of an unexpected
event: an actual celebrity wedding! Joely Fisher,
who played Ellen's friend 'Paige' on the TV sitcom "Ellen"(and who is the daughter of Connie Stevens
and Eddie Fisher ) rented an entire
sound stage for her wedding and built her perfect wedding set in which
to stage her fantasy wedding.
The studio is not open to the public, and most of the filming there, such as for the TV show "Castle", is done on a closed set.
"Ugly Betty" also called Raleigh Studios home.
Sanders Show" taped there recently, as did "The Closer" and the Saturday
morning teen comedy "One World."
Most recently, Raleigh has been the home to the popular TV series "Castle".
usually only a few TV shows, such as "America's Funniest
Home Videos", offering public tickets to tapings.
"Check with "Audiences Unlimited"
to see what is taping there now. That will give you a chance to catch a
glimpse of what goes on behind the studio walls and also see a few celebrities
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endorsements by them of any kind, and are used by the author solely to
illustrate this online article.
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