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Early Universal City

Author Robert S. Birchard discusses Universal Studios

Universal-book coverSMKnown as much today for its theme park, Universal City is also the largest and the longest continuously operating movie studio in Hollywood. But, a little-known secret is that the nearly century old studio facility is actually the second Universal City--the first was where Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills is today. Local author Robert S. Birchard will provide a guided tour in words and images of Early Universal City, based on his Images of America book of the same name. 

The Universal Film Manufacturing Company was formed by a half dozen independent producers in 1912, and Universal City was designed to provide a single facility in which to make their films. Since its official opening on March 15, 1915, Universal City has served as a training ground for great film directors such as John Ford, William Wyler, and James Whale and brought The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), Dracula (1930), Frankenstein (1931), and 100 Men and a Girl (1936) to the screen. 

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