Saturday, March 31, 2012

Save Pickfair Studios!!!

"The Lot".  "Pickfair Studios".  "Samuel Goldwyn Studios". "United Artists" "Warner Studios".   The studio has gone through more names than any other studio in Hollywood, however it was one of the first that served as both a film site and distribution center while being fully independent from the major studios, and is one of the last remaining in almost original capacity.

Renovated in 1922 by the UA team, everyone from Chaplin, Valentino, Swanson, and Flynn to Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Lemmon, and George Lucas worked at "The Lot" at one time or another.  Son of The Sheik, Wuthering Heights, Some Like It Hot, West Side Story, Star Wars, and many other films were made there. Harrison Ford was discovered there. Erroll Flynn is said to have had a tunnel constructed from the studio to the bar across the street so he could grab a drink undetected.  All that history, and basically the very beginning of everything Hollywood was and has become,  started at this studio.

The current owners (CIM/ Skye Partners) plan to tear it down this month to replace it with parking structures and "modern" buildings. They've been trying since the 90's, but unfortunately the voice of their major opposition died in 2008 and the City of West Hollywood has given them the go-ahead to destroy what to many is one of the most valuable historical sites in town.  How does a city that wouldn't exist without this history completely disregard it less than 100 years later?

There are so many vacant properties all over town i don't fully understand why companies buy up these historical buildings if they have no interest in the history and fascination they hold, only to tear them down to make room for Starbucks, parking lots, and shopping centers.  I understand change is inevitable but purposely buying out these gorgeous properties only to burn them to the ground makes no sense to me.

There is a protest planned for 1pm this Sunday if anyone in the LA area would like to come show support.  There is also a petition:

Old Hollywood has been almost completely demolished. The boulevard is a shadow of its previous self, the studios are gone or inaccessible, and the amazing talents that built this city with their genius and drive are almost forgotten.  Maybe we can show them there is still an interest, and if out of nothing more than respect for Hollywood's "founding fathers", maybe we can save this one.

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