Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NBC Hollywood - Then & Now

NBC Studios c.1940s - Sunset Blvd & Vine St.

NBC Studios site 2009, Sunset & Vine Hollywood
Above are photos of the NBC Radio Studios lot during the 1940s and how the location appears today. During the 1930s all the major radio networks in New York City began opening up west coast locations in this area of Hollywood. NBC first had a west coast radio studio in 1937 located on Melrose Avenue near the Paramount and RKO studios. This studio had two small stages with seats for live audiences. However, when CBS opened a much larger studio NBC decided to build a new a larger state-of-the-art radio studio located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street. The building, which opened in 1938 was a stylish streamlined art deco structure with eight studios and a three story office building.
However, like many historical structures in Hollywood the NBC Radio Studio in Hollywood would be demolished. Today there is a Washington Mutual bank (now a Chace bank?) on the corner. Also, notice how much smaller the palm trees are in the old photograph and the difference in the skyline.
Radio show guests and performers who were visiting would sometimes stay at the Plaza Hotel just up the street. That building is still standing. Also neighboring the NBC Radio Studios and the Plaza Hotel was the popular Brown Derby restaurant where all the big Hollywood stars dined. However, this Brown Derby has been demolished.

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