Paramount Studios – History

The Studio 
1912, April 12  Engadine Corp. founded by Adolph Zukor.
1912, June 7  Famous Players Corp. founded by Adolph Zukor.
1912 Adolph Zukor, the owner of a New York nickelodeon, secures American distribution rights to Sarah Bernhart’s four-reel film, Queen Elizabeth. The film’s triumphant opening on July 12, 1912 as the first full-length drama shown in the United States prompted Zukor to found the Famous Players Film Company. Famous Players began to produce movies in New York, beginning with The Prisoner of Zenda (1913) and The Count of Monte Cristo(1913).
1913, November 23  Jesse L. Lasky Company founded by Jesse L. Laskey, Cecil B Demille and Sam Goldfish.
1914, May  Film distribution company Paramount Pictures founded by W.W.Hodkinson. Zukor was one of the investors.
1916, June 28  June 28, 1916 marked a turning point in Paramount’s history. The Jesse L. Lasky Company, which was producing films in Hollywood, California, merged with Famous Players to form the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. The corporation consolidated its production and distribution divisions.
1917 Studio constructed for Robert Brunton on Melrose. One of the structures, a wooden barn, has been preserved. It was the site where DeMille shot “The Squaw Man”. The barn was open to the public as the Hollywood Studio Museum, but is currently in storage.
1918 Part of the modern-day Paramount lot is the home of United Pictures, home to Rudolph Valentino’s productions, featuring Norma Talmadge, Anita Stewart and Mary Pickford. United owned this part of the lot until 1926.
1918, February Famous Players-Lasky Corp. absorbs Paramount Pictures.

Zukor acquires the Balaban & Katz theatre chain, getting the services of Barney Balaban, who became Paramounts’ president, and Sam Katz who ran the Paramount-Publix theatre chain.

Famous Players-Lasky moves into the former Robert Brunton Studios on Melrose Avenue (the home of Paramount Pictures to this day).

1927, April 1 Famous Players-Lasky took on the name  Paramount-Famous Lasky Corporation

Wings (1928) receives the very first Academy Award for Best Picture from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Paramount acquires a 50% share in the new Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) radio company.

RKO is formed and moves into the former Robertson-Cole studios at 860 N.Gower Street (now part of Paramount Studios).

1930, April 24 Paramount-Famous Lasky Corp. becomes Paramount Publix Corporation. (Balaban/ Katz subsidiary)
1932, November 28 Paramount Publix Corp. changes it’s name to Paramount Productions Inc.
1936, August 1 Paramount Productions Inc. merged with Paramount Pictures Inc.
?1937, March 25 An earthquake rocked the Los Angeles area, causing no major damage, but Paramount staff decided to remove the bell-tower on top of Bronson Gate as a safety precaution.
1939 Paramount TV Productions Inc. founded as a new subsidiary for TV production
1949, December 30 Paramount Pictures Inc. dissolved.
The new name is Paramount Pictures Corporation (production and distribution group).
Paramount Theatres Inc. formed.
1950, January 1 Paramount Pictures Corp. is the official new name
1950 Desilu founded (as a partnership between Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz).
1951, Fall “I Love Lucy” premieres, using the then revolutionary technique of shooting on 35mm film in front of a live studio audience.
1966, March 24  Gulf+Western Industries, Inc. acquires control of Paramount Pictures. The corporation turned it’s interest towards the new entertainment division.
1967 The former RKO Studio buildings become part of Paramount.
1983 August 25 – The original New York Street was destroyed in a fire.
1989, June 5  Gulf+Western is renamed Paramount Communications Inc.
1992 The current 5 acre backlot was completed August 3rd at a cost of $1.5million.
1994, March 11  Paramount merges with Viacom, Inc, under the leadership of Sumner Redstone, Executive Chairman of the Board and Founder.
2006, January  Viacom spilts into two separate publicly-traded companies: CBS Corporation and Viacom. Paramount Pictures Corporation is part of Viacom which also includes MTV Networks and BET Networks.
2010 A new backlot location is completed: a 200-foot long alley called “The Alley”.