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Columbia Ranch

Columbia Ranch (now Warner Bros. Ranch)
411 N. Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505

* Google Maps aerial view
* Google Maps street view [main entrance]
* Google Maps street view [West Oak St.]

The Ranch started in 1934, as a 40 acre plot purchased by Harry Cohn, head of Columbia Pictures Corporation. The Studio, with its headquarters located at Sunset & Gower, in Hollywood, made numerous movies, but had to rent neighboring movie studios 'Back-lots' for outdoor shooting due to the lack of space at the Sunset lot. By the end of 1934 this problem was solved as Columbia had acquired a 40 acre lot on the other side of the Hollywood Hills in Burbank, at the corner of Hollywood Way and Oak Street, on what is said to have been the Burbank Motion Pictures Stables. It was the perfect "Back-Lot" as it was still rural enough to be landscaped as the studio needed it to be.

From the start, Columbia Pictures used the Ranch as a backdrop for many serials, such as "Captain Midnight", "Blondie" and "The Three Stooges". In the 1960s, the Ranch was booming with business. Not only were movies being filmed on a regular basis, but more and more television shows were being shot on the Ranch as well. Some notiable shows shot on the Ranch include "Gidget", "Bewitched", "I Dream of Jeannie", "The Flying Nun", "The Monkees", and many more.

In 1970, a catastrophic fire destroyed a quarter of the lot. Half of the Western set, the Colonial/European set and parts of Blondie street burned down, including the Blondie house itself. Although quickly rebuilt, another fire in April, in the same area, and another fire in August of that year, destroyed much of what was original to the Ranch.

By mid 1971, Columbia and Warner Bros studios decided to combine their forces in order to combat the financial troubles either one encountered and formed a merger under the name The Burbank Studios. In doing so, the Ranch became a true "Back-back Lot" as Warner Bros already had a massive backlot. In 1990, Columbia Pictures separated itself from Warner Bros, and left Burbank, leaving the Ranch completely. Warner Bros. gained ownership of the lot and renamed it Warner Ranch. The ranch, which now contains soundstages, is still in active use.

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