The term “stage” originates in the early days of silent film, when a platform was constructed on which to build sets. The very first purpose-built stages had glass roofs to let sunlight in, as electrical light was not yet bright enough to register properly on the early film stock. 

The first “soundstages” appeared in 1928 – these were now fully enclosed, and had been sound-proofed to reduce external noise and to prevent sound echoing around the stage, as movies were increasingly using sound. 

The very first soundstage is still in use and is located on the Warner Brothers’ lot at Sunset Bronson Studios (now KTLA television studio) at 5800 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. 

Stages 10 and 11 were the first constructed specifically as “soundstages” at Universal. Stage 12 followed in 1929. By late 1930 all Universal stages had been converted to soundstages. Universal has 30 soundstages ranging in size from 6,800 square feet to over 36,000 square feet. Seven stages are audience rated and have silent air conditioning, audience seating, permanent dressing rooms, and makeup services.

Tram On-Board Video with Jason Alexander about Soundstage 36 (2007)

Universal’s Filmmakers Destination site contains full details of current facilities:

  • Stage 50
  • Stage 52
  • Stage 55


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