The first, containing their corporate offices, is located in Century City's posh ABC Entertainment Center. The second is the ABC Television Center, located east of Hollywood; this is their studio base for KABC, the local Channel 7, an ABC affiliate. ABC does not offer a guided tour of the studio, and it is not open to the public, which is a shame, considering the studio's record in broadcasting, and the history of its east Hollywood studio.
Stage 55, the oldest remaining stage on the lot (and at one time the world's largest sound stage), still features windows that are visible in "The Phantom of the Opera" with Lon Chaney. The huge pepper tree in front of the KABC bungalows was planted in 1920 by Norma Talmadge.
The studio was eventually purchased by Warner Bros. in 1925 for $1 million.And at least some portion of Al Jolson's historic "The Jazz Singer" may have been filmed here on Stage 55 when the lot was owned by Warner Bros.
ABC Television acquired the studio property in 1949, and opened the world's largest, state-of-the-art television center.
The Beatles played at the studio live in 1965 when they appeared on the TV show "Shindig," as did The Rolling Stones and Sonny & Cher. The very first Jerry Lewis Telethon was filmed here. Dean Martin debuted his new song "That's Amore" for the first time on that show.
Over the years, a surprising number of popular game shows were taped here at ABC, including "Let's Make a Deal," "Family Feud," "The Dating Game," The Match Game," "The Newlywed Game" and "Password." So were music/variety shows such as Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" and "The Lawrence Welk Show."
But it is no longer the site of many network productions. The studio houses the local ABC affiliate station KABC-TV (Channel 7), with its popular Eyewitness News division, as well as the "Good Morning America" west coast headquarters. Also, the soap operas "General Hospital" and "Port Charles" are taped here - the large five-story building (visible in the photo to the left) is devoted exclusively to the production of "General Hospital."
Current plans call for KABC to build a new 100,000-foot studio in Burbank soon (near its parent corporation, Disney), which should be ready sometime in 2000. The new studio will be located in the Grand Central Business Centre (owned by Disney), at 512 Paula Ave., near the interchange of Interstate 5 and California 134. It will share the Centre with such existing Disney branches as Disney Imagineering, Disney Interactive, and will be right across the street from the new 12-acre DreamWorks animation studio.
To reach the ABC Entertainment Center in Century City from Hollywood & Vine, take Vine Street south (about 3/4 of a mile) to Santa Monica Boulevard. Turn right (west) on Santa Monica Boulevard and follow it west/southwest (for about eight miles) to the Avenue of the Stars. Turn left (south) on Avenue of the stars and go straight ahead to the towering fountains in the center of the street. The Entertainment Center will be on your left (east) side, across from the Century Plaza Hotel.
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