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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Infamous Places: Site of the Hal Roach Studios in Culver City, California

In 1915, Hal Roach began producing short film comedies with his friend Harold Lloyd, who portrayed a character known as Lonesome Luke.

A few years later, unable to expand his studios in downtown Los Angeles because of zoning, Roach purchased what became the Hal Roach Studios from Harry Culver in Culver City, California.

In 1919 he opened Hal Roach Studios at 8822 Washington Blvd and National Blvd in Culver City, California.

The administration building was covered with ivy, and the picturesque little comedy plant became known as the green ivy studio.

It would be comedy's home for nearly half a century.

See video at end of article

8822 Washington Blvd Culver City, California

During the 1920s and 1930s, Hal Roach employed Harold Lloyd (his top money-maker until his departure in 1923), Will Rogers, Max Davidson, the Our Gang kids, Charley Chase, Harry Langdon, Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts, Lupe Vélez, Patsy Kelly and, most famously, Laurel and Hardy.

Laurel and Hardy in front of  Hal Roach Studios

It was here that many of the Harold Lloyd, Laurel & Hardy, and Our Gang movies were shot. The site was known as “The Lot of Fun.”

1924 Film

Aerial Photo of Hal Roach Studios 1926. Note the railroad tracks running up along the left side of the studio.

Below: Aerial Photo of Hal Roach Studios 1938. Railroad tracks crossing under Washington Blvd.

The studio was bulldozed in 1963. 

Today at the same location the railroad tracks seen in the above aerial photos are now raised above on a concrete bridge and now cross over Washington Blvd and continue past what was once the infamous Hal Roach Studios.

8822 Washington Blvd Culver City, California

About where the camera was positioned in the above image there is a patch of grass with two or three park benches and a tree. In the patch of grass is a plaque that marks the site of the Hal Roach Studios, though the actual site was several yards ahead as seen in the photo above.

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Related Article: Top 5 Places To Stay In the Los Angeles Area

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