There follows a brief overview. For the full story on the MGM Backlots, please buy or borrow this following gloriously detailed volume. More details from the book.
The vast MGM lot was spread across six separate locations, totalling 165 acres.
Lot 1: This is the current site of Sony Pictures Studios.
44 acres, containing the main production offices and, at it’s height, 28 soundstages (along with support services and facilities).
Lot 2: Lot Two was located across Overland Avenue from the main lot, between Washington and Culver, and totalled 37 acres.
A fire destroyed a portion of the sets in 1967.
Sets on it were demolished in 1974. One of the last projects shot here was The Phantom of Hollywood, a 1974 TV movie which was originally titled The Phantom of Lot Two. Demolition had already started during production.
Lot 3: Lot Three was a 65 acre parcel of land at the corner of Jefferson and Overland in Culver City, 8 blocks south of the main lot. The borders were Jefferson to the north and what is now a community college on the south. The site is now housing. Back in the 1960s, it had a street of victorian houses, a 63 million gallon man-made lake and western street.
Lots 4, 5 and 6: Located across Jefferson from Lot #3.
Lot 4: 5.4 acres, for parking and the Studio Zoo.
Lot 5: 7.8 acres – transportation and stables.
Lot 6: 6 acres – studio nursery
MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON
MAP OF AREA COMING SOON
MGM Backlot – 1970s
Unfortunately during the 1970s the backlot suffered from neglect. Sets were not repaired and vehicles were not cleared after productions ended. It also seems that the backlots were not sufficiently secured from vandalism.
A section of New York Street was constructed behind Stage 12 in 2011.
Many of the studio buildings around Main Street could be used for filming, but as they’re offices and in use regularly, I doubt this happens much.