Demolition underway of Pickford Building at The Lot

pickford-building-demo.jpg

CIM began tearing down the Pickford Building on the former United Artists Studio lot on Monday. The city of West Hollywood issued permits over the protests of Hollywood preservationists.

CIM promised in their public statement that this was the only building with a SCHEDULED demolition. However they’ve been known to break their promises before. There are still 4 buildings with historical value left: the Mary Pickford office (which they have permission to take down), Douglas Fairbanks gym/Fairbanks building (which they have permission to take down), Writers building and Soundstage 7 (which was not included but they have not promised to save…it was as wanted as the Pickford building today.)

While this is terribly sad and gut wrenching to our helpers and supporters we want you to know the fight is not up.

Also from the group trying to save the studio:

The Pickfair Studio, commonly referred to as the Pickford-Fairbanks Studio (its official name was at one point United Artist Studios), was created in 1922 by superstars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, renovating a 1917/1918 studio by Jesse Durham Hampton. Together with D.W. Griffith (a revolutionary filmmaker and director) and Charlie Chaplin (oh you know who HE is) they had founded one of the first major independent film studios: United Artist. The four needed a place to make their films on a suitable lot under their control. While Chaplin and Griffith took separate turns making their own studios (Chaplin’s still stands down the block with Kermit the Frog in Tramp outfit, Griffith’s failed after Way Down East), this studio was Mary and Doug’s....

To express just what film history has happened here would take hours. In addition to silent film classics like Son of the Sheik, Sparrows and Thief of Bagdad films like Wuthering Heights (1939), Guys and Dolls, Some Like It Hot (1959), and West Side Story (1959) were also shot there. When George Lucas returned from England he reshot some of the original Star War scenes at the Pickfair Studio. In the 30s the studio was rented out to RKO and Howard Hughes at various points. Stars like Lucille Ball, Eddie Cantor and Gloria Stuart all made films at Pickfair Studios. Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson, Frank Sinatra, Myrna Loy, Natalie Wood, Marlon Brando, Susan Hayward, Greer Garson, Jack Lemmon, Danny Kaye, and Laurence Olivier all made films at this studio at some point in their careers.


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