Last updated 42 weeks ago
R.K.O Forty Acres
The "40 Acres" back lot was the location where the exterior shots of The Andy Griffith Show were filmed. It was actually about 29 acres of land in Culver City, California. It worked as a backdrop for numerous silent films as well as Gone With the Wind. By 1976 the back lot was in disrepair and bulldozed. Interior shots of The Andy Griffith Show were filmed at the Desilu Studios in Cahuenga at stages 1 & 2.
Arial shot of the Frankenstein Village, Universal Studios backlot, circa early 1930s |
When viewed from above and behind, the Frankenstein Village on the Universal Studios backlot doesn’t seem so scary. Then again, I don’t have a grunting flat-topped, seven-foot Boris Karloff chasing me down or throwing me into the village lake, do I? (circa early 1930s)
Universal Studios backlot, Universal City, California, circa 1919 |
In this photo we’re looking at the Universal Studios backlot. It’s a sprawling collection of facades without much organization. But it was only 1919, so they were probably still building sets on an as-needed basis. These days, the studio and theme park sprawl out in all directions, along with the Hollywood Freeway to the south, the Lakeside Golf Club and the concreted Los Angeles River to the north, and the Hollywood sign to the east. And beyond all of them, suburban sprawl in all directions.
The backlot of Universal Studios, Universal City, California, circa late 1920s |
This is a shot of the backlot of Universal Studios. Without a specific film or automobile to help us date it, it’s hard to pin down the year. The land is so sparse that I’m guessing it’s probably only a few years after Carl Laemmle opened Universal City in 1915. We can see a British village, a lighthouse, a medieval castle, and an Arabian palace. And beyond that, the empty back of the Hollywood Hills. They’re still empty but that’s about the only thing that hasn’t changed.