Posts Tagged ‘then & now’

Vitagraph Studios — Then & Now

Sunday, January 25th, 2009


Vitagraph Studios


Vitagraph Studios - Then




4151 Prospect Avenue

Hollywood, California


By Allan R. Ellenberger


Vitagraph was first founded in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn by vaudevillians, Albert E. Smith and J. Stuart Blackton. They discovered that the films they showed during their on stage act garnered more attention than their comedy skits, so they began filming everything they could, developing a strong distribution system. They also signed the first actress to a contract — known to audiences as the “Vitagraph Girl” (Florence Turner) –and eventually established a studio in Los Angeles.


Vitagraph-aerial view

Aerial view of Vitagraph Studios in 1922



In 1915, Smith purchased 23 acres of land in East Hollywood at Prospect and Talmadge Streets for $20,000. The lot contained two daylight film stages, support buildings and many exterior film sets. Vitagraphs’s major stars had included Corinne Griffith, Norma Talmadge, Wallace Reid, and Jean (the “Vitagraph Dog”).


By 1925, Vitagraph suffered from financial troubles and was bought out by Warner Bros. who had their main studios on Sunset Boulevard at the time and used the old Vitagraph lot as an annex. Among the films that were made or partially shot here include: The Jazz Singer (1927); The Glorious Betsy (1928); Public Enemy (1931); The Gold Diggers of 1933; Captain Blood (1935) and The Lady with Red Hair (1940).


In 1948, the lot was bought by the ABC Television Network where it was used for many games shows such as Let’s Make a Deal, Family Feud, the Dating Game, the Newlywed Game, and Password. Many sitcoms have been filmed here including Barney Miller, Benson, Mr. Belvedere, Soap, Three’s Company, Welcome Back Kotter and Who’s the Boss.


Currently the long-running soap, General Hospital is taped here, as is the popular night-time drama, Grey’s Anatomy.




In 1996, ABC became part of The Walt Disney Company. As the television and film industry entered the next century, the Lot was renamed The Prospect Studios. In 2002, the property underwent a major renovation to position its facilities for the future and new technical innovation



Celebrity Homes…Harold Lloyd

Friday, September 19th, 2008


Harold Lloyd

Then & Now



 Lloyd reportedly lived here before moving to Green Acres


 Lloyd’s former home as it looks today 


 502 South Irving Blvd.

Los Angeles, California



Mildred Davis and Harold Lloyd 



New York: Then & Now…

Friday, June 6th, 2008


The Paramount Theatre

Then & Now




TOP: The Paramount Theatre on Times Square (1933)

BOTTOM: The former Paramount Building (2008)


1501 Broadway @ West 43rd Street

Manhattan, New York


On Times Square, on November 19, 1926, the New York Paramount Theatre opened its doors to a full 3,364 seat house and rave reviews. The New York Times ran the first ad, describing “an acre of seats in a palace of splendor.” The flagship house of the Paramount-Publix chain, spearheaded by Adolph Zukor, was an architectural triumph.


Cornerstone of the Paramount Building


NOTE: The “Then” photo shows the Paramount Theater in 1933. The film showing is Pick-up starring Sylvia Sydney and George Raft. The building to the right of the Paramount is the Astor Hotel, which was demolished in 1966. In the bottom “Now” photo, the former Paramount building looks virtually the same except that it is no longer a theater but a Hard Rock Cafe restaurant.


Celebrity Homes…Anita Stewart

Friday, May 16th, 2008


Anita Stewart

Then & Now



Stewarts home as it looks today 
(click on images to enlarge)


7425 Franklin Avenue

Hollywood, California


 Anita Stewart


NOTE: The former home of silent film actress, Anita Stewart has been empty and in this condition for several years. The porch roof is missing and the grounds are unkempt. Hopefully, someone will restore the home and property before it is lost forever.