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Thursday, July 24, 2008


Warner Brothers Studios - Burbank - Postcard in the collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - gift of Gary Fredburg 2008 (click on image to enlarge)
At the top of Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills stands the sepulcher of one of the most important movie stars, perhaps of all time, Bette Davis. The story goes that the great actress selected the spot so that she could look down forever on her nemesis Jack Warner. Warner Brothers Studios occupies 110 historic acres at the base of Mount Cahuenga in Burbank.
Viewed by many as the foremost entertainment production facility in the world, the San Fernando Valley's Warner Brothers Studio has produced record number of motion pictures and television productions. And, the great complex is one of the most important post production facilities in the United States. Most Valley residents have at one time or another had the occasion of visiting one of the 29 massive sound stages or business offices. On the 20 acre "back lot", set imitating just about every major location stand ready for yet another reworking for a film or t.v. show.
The next time you see a Warner Brothers film, take time to watch the "credits" at the end. Artists, actors and artisans, many who live in the San Fernando Valley, represent the Studio's phenomenal arsenal of talents. Editors, costume designers, set makers, lighting experts, construction workers, actors, scenic artists and a plethora of other crafts-persons make Warner Brothers, not only a Valley treasure, but a world class asset as well.
In 1928, the Warner Brothers, Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack bought a struggling First National Pictures built just two years earlier on what had been farmland. The money for the purchase came from the huge success of their first talking motion picture, The Jazz Singer. Within one year, the "studio system" was developing at full speed. 86 films were created at Warner Brothers in that year.
Since many of the stars and artists, such as film composers, lived in the greater San Fernando Valley, they will be subjects of separate histories presented by The Museum. The list of classic American films, writers and directors is simply amazing. The talented men, women and children who worked, and continue to work, on Warner Brothers' films are a major reason why the San Fernando Valley is rightfully called "the creative capital of the world."

Warner Brothers Studio
4000 Warner Brothers Boulevard
Burbank, CA

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