Another piece of Southern California’s moviemaking history will soon look a little emptier as various buildings in a historic West Hollywood movie lot have a date with the wrecking ball.
Every major star from Charlie Chaplin to Marilyn Monroe to Marlon Brando worked there, and Harrison Ford was a young carpenter on the site when George Lucas discovered him.
The studio, at the corner of Santa Monica and Formosa, was built in 1919 and initially owned by film legends Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks.
Later, it became the Samuel Goldwyn Studio; then, the Warner Hollywood studio; and finally it became known as simply The Lot.
The buildings are filled with history, and while the studio isn’t completely vanishing its new owner, developer CIM Group, will soon begin demolishing some of the studios. They will be replaced with modern, glass-and-steel structures.
West Hollywood never designated the studio as a landmark and the city council had approved the demolition project some time ago. The project will add new sound stages, and double the size of the facility. But some critics say, the charm and tradition will be lost.
CIM has agreed to preserve part of the complex — one façade will remain standing.