Seeing Stars: The Movie Studios


(Columbia / TriStar Pictures)
10202 W. Washington Boulevard,
Culver City, CA. / (310) 244-4000


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.


(As you can see here, the winged white horse - the logo for TriStar - now shares the same space as Columbia's torch-bearing goddess logo.)



The new tenants, Columbia & TriStar, have been doing well enough in their new Culver City lodgings. Large billboards line the southern walls of the huge sound stages facing Washington Boulevard, advertising recent Columbia/TriStar films, such as "Zookeeper", "Priest" and "Bad Teacher".  (StreetView)

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."

And that's not counting the studio's TV shows like "Breaking Bad", "Rules of Engagement," "Dawson's Creek," "Mad About You," "Party of Five" and "Jeopardy."

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, Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone 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 the studio.

(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 Studios.)

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.


 Getting there: Sony Pictures Studios is located at the northwest corner of Washington Boulevard & Overland Avenue, in Culver City. The studio is bounded by Washington Boulevard (on the north), Culver Boulevard (on the south), Madison (on the east) and Overland (on the west). The main old gate (with its classical Greek columns) is located at Jasmine Avenue & Washington Boulevard. / From the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway, take the Washington Blvd./Venice Blvd offramp, turn right (south) at the bottom of the offramp, and drive south two blocks to Washington Boulevard. Turn left (east), and go one mile on Washington Boulevard, to between Overland and Madison Avenues. The studio will be on your right (south) side.  


[For more information about this subject, you can access Sony's official website at: http://www.spe.sony.com.]

[To take a virtual tour of Sony Studios, you can access their website at: http://www.spe.sony.com/studio/.]



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Copyright  2014-Gary Wayne
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