Warner Bros. Pictures Studios
5842 Sunset Blvd.
4000 Warner Blvd.
1041 N. Formosa
San Fernando Valley
They came late to the Silent era and quickly became one of the Major Studios.
Now, in the world of corporate media, as others have faded, they still reign as one of the "Big 5" studios
The Warner Brothers started producing movies during the latter part of the silent era. Most of the early original companies were out of business by the time WWI wrapped up, but the Warner Brothers were just getting started.
Having dabbled in movie theaters, in 1904 the Warner Brothers, Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack, opened a movie distribution business, Duquesne Amusement & Supply Company. During the first world war they began producing their own films. They bounced around, renting tudios here and there until 1918 when they opened their first studio on Sunset Blvd., in Hollywood. They called it Warner Bros. Studio and it had a single stage with offices. Growth was explosive for them but profitability was slower. Harry Warner's philosophy was that in order to be successful you had to look successful. So they set out to put up a great front.
They filled out the production area at the Sunset Blvd. studio and in 1925 the four brothers expanded by buying one of the oldest, best know, and most productive companies, The Vitagraph Company. Along with the purchase came two additional studios (one in Brooklyn, and this one in East Hollywood) and a fledgling sound-on-disc system called Vitaphone. This raised the brothers' profile in the business. They now had three studios, including this Talmadge Street lot. In short order they started using the sound system producing "Don Jean" starring John Barrymore. The movie had a music and sound effects track recorded on a disc that was synchronized with the film. Only about 100 of the more than 20,000 nationwide theaters were equipped to show the movie. Despite that it was Warner's biggest grossing film to date. Within a year they began work on "The Jazz Singer," the groundbreaking movie that introduced the world to "the talkies" with popular singer Al Jolson in the lead. Some of that movie was shot here, on their Talmadge Street lot.
In the mid twenties Warner Bros. bought and expanded what became their home base in Burbank, reducing this lot to annex status and by the time they sold it to the new ABC network in 1948 it was Warner Bros. were based at their large 110 acre Burbank studio and this studio was largely unused and had been reduced to a 25 acre footprint.