The Lot Studios
A History dating back 100 years
Loaded Media’s offices are located on The Lot at Formosa, a film and TV production facility with a long and fascinating history as part of the Hollywood film industry. Located at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Formosa Avenue in West Hollywood, the property now known as The Lot has gone through several names and owners.
The Lot: Pickford-Fairbanks Studio Era
The first major chapter in The Lot’s history began in 1919, when it was purchased by silent film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, to serve as the main production lot for their appropriately named Pickford-Fairbanks Studios. Pickford and Fairbanks would later join Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith in rebelling against the major Hollywood studios of the time to found United Artists, an artist-driven studio that started production in 1921. In 1928, The Lot was renamed United Artists Studios.
The Lot: United Artists Era
While the deed to the land was owned by Pickford and Fairbanks, many of the early buildings and production facilities at United Artists Studios were built by producers Samuel Goldwyn and Joseph Schenk, who distributed their films through United Artists. In 1935, Schenk left United Artists, leaving his share of the facilities to Goldwyn. Then, in 1939, Fairbanks died, leaving his share of the land to Pickford. In 1940, Goldwyn left United Artists, leading to a long power struggle between Goldwyn and Pickford over control of The Lot. In 1955, a court attempted to resolve the dispute by ordering the property to be sold at auction. Goldwyn ultimately outbid Pickford, becoming owner of The Lot, which he then renamed Samuel Goldwyn Studios.
Notable films shot on The Lot during this era include Scarface (1932), Stagecoach (1939), and The Outlaw (1941).
The Lot: Samuel Goldwyn Studios Era
From the late 50s through the late 70s, Samuel Goldwyn Studios was one of the largest production facilities outside the control of the major studios and served as a center of independent film production in Hollywood. During this era, famous classics such as Guys and Dolls (1955), Some Like it Hot (1959), West Side Story (1959), In the Heat of the Night (1967), and The Long Goodbye (1973) were shot on The Lot. Secondary shooting for some of the Mos Eisley Cantina Scenes in Star Wars (1977) were also shot there. During this period, Samuel Goldwyn Studios became home to a growing number of TV productions, including The Fugitive. It was home to the offices of Syd and Marty Krofft, creators of H. R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost.
The Lot: Warner Hollywood Studios Era
In 1980, The Lot was purchased by Warner Bros and renamed to Warner Hollywood Studios, a sister studio to the main Warner Bros Studios on the other side of the Hollywood Hills in Burbank. The facility continued as a major center of TV production, and was home to iconic series such as Dynasty and The Love Boat.
Major films shot at least partially at Warner Hollywood Studios during this era include Basic Instinct (1992), The Distinguished Gentleman (1992), Se7en (1995), L.A. Confidential (1997), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), and The Green Mile (1999).
The Lot: Entering the 21st Century
In 1999, Warner Bros sold the property to a company called BA Studios, which formally changed its name to The Lot. Once again, the facility became known as a destination for independent productions and television.
Films produced on The Lot during the ’00s include Miss Congeniality (2000), Dodgeball (2004), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2007) and The Social Network (2009).
Major TV series filmed here during the 2000s and 2010s include True Blood, Big Little Lies, and Little Fires Everywhere.
The Lot: Today
In recent years, The Lot has completed several major construction projects, and the new buildings have hosted the offices of major entertainment and media companies including Oprah Winfrey Networks and Ticketmaster. HBO and HBO Max have leased both office and production space for current and upcoming projects.
TV series filmed on The Lot in the 2020s thus far include HBO’s Euphoria, The Idol, and The Sympathizer.
Starting in 2021, The Lot became home to the offices of Loaded Media. We love coming to work at this wonderful slice of Hollywood history!