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Paramount Pictures
The Beginning and Early Years
By: Paramount Pictures   |  Email:

Paramount Pictures

As the longest operating and only remaining major studio in Hollywood, Paramount Pictures has been

on the ground floor of every major development in film – from the advent of motion pictures, to the emergence of television, through the digital revolution. During our 100-year history, we have served as

the production site for thousands of notable movies and TV shows.

Today, we continue to partner with projects large and small in a ceaseless effort to create celebrated movies, television shows, and commercials.

Our studio lot has grown considerably over the years, expanding from 26 acres and four stages to 65 acres and thirty stages. We have also constructed other impressive sites like the massive Blue Sky Tank and our one-of-a-kind New York Street backlot, which features ten distinct city neighborhood backdrops. When you visit our lot, not only will you see where some of the most celebrated movies and television series were made, but also see how we continue to produce iconic motion pictures for the next century.

At Paramount, you will get to wander through the past and see the future at the same time.


The Beginning and Early Years

Paramount Pictures began humbly in 1912 when Adolph Zukor, the owner of a New York nickelodeon, released the first full-length drama shown in the United States (Queen Elizabeth, starring Sarah Bernhardt) and founded the Famous Players Film Company. A year later, Zukor began distributing his films through a start-up company called Paramount Pictures.

In 1916, Zukor’s Famous Players merged with The Jesse L. Lasky Company, which was producing films in Hollywood (including the first feature-length film ever produced in Hollywood – The Squaw Man) and also using Paramount Pictures as a distributor. The newly formed Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, soon consolidated with the distribution company (in which Zukor was a major stockholder) and all three companies became what you now know as Paramount Pictures.

After the merger, audiences first began seeing the iconic logo with the mountain and stars, which was created by Paramount (the distribution company) founder W. W. Hodkinson. Hodkinson had borrowed the Paramount name from an apartment house that he frequently passed in his neighborhood. A mountain peak he remembered from his childhood in Utah inspired the logo, which he designed. Legend has it that the stars surrounding the mountain represented the original 22 film stars Hodkinson had under contract. Another implication was that Paramount had more stars than there were in the universe.

In 1926, Lasky supervised the construction of a new Hollywood studio, which was the foundation of the Paramount Pictures studio lot today. The original studio, which cost $1 million to build, stood on a 26-acre lot and contained four large sound stages.

It only took a year after moving onto our current studio lot for Paramount’s success to become evident. In 1927, Paramount received the very first Academy Award for Best Picture with its release of Wings, a silent movie about World War I fighter pilots. In addition, Wings is the only silent film in movie history to win that award.

There was no looking back after that.

Memorable Movies (1912-1929)

• The Sheik (1921)

• Wings (1927, Winner of the 1st

Academy Award for Best Picture)

• Interference (1928, Paramount's 1st All Talkie)

• Coconuts (1929)

Famous Stars (1912-1929)

• Cecil B. DeMille

• Mary Pickford

• Clara Bow

• Douglas Fairbanks

• Gloria Swanson

• Rudolph Valentino



Contact & Directions

When to Arrive / What to Bring

•  Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your tour

•  Photo ID is required for guests 18 and older



•  Parking is available at Vistor Parking Lot A, across the

   street from the Paramount Pictures Tour Center at the

   corner of Melrose Ave and Windsor Blvd

•  Parking is complimentary for VIP and After Dark Tour

   guests with tour confirmation email


General Information

Please contact Guest Relations at 323-956-1777


Group Sales

Please contact Guest Relations at 323-956-1777


Paramount Pictures Studio Tour Entrance

5515 Melrose Avenue

Hollywood, CA 90038



Paramount Pictures
The Beginning and Early Years

By: Paramount Pictures

Office 323-956-1777
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