Counter added Sunday, March 25, 2007 -11:00 am Pacific Time


Just Above Sunset Logo - Click here to return to the home page -


Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - Cahuenga High Noon

No one has heard of Ren-Mar Studios down in the flats - 846 North Cahuenga Boulevard, just up the street from that Pawnbrokers to the Stars place on Melrose. Scenes from some classic movies were shot here - from 1931's "The Champ" (with Wallace Beery) to 1952's "High Noon" (with Gary Cooper). And the Toontown trolley scenes from Disney's "Who Shot Roger Rabbit?" were filmed in front of the studio.  But there are no tours.  It's not open to the public. This is a working town, and Ren-Mar isn't like the other studios. It's is a rental studio, leasing out their lot and sound stages to other studios, independent film-makers, television shows, commercials and folks making video games.

In 1915, when the studio was founded, the lot here was Metro Studios, before that company merged into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). In the 1940s it was simply "Motion Pictures Studios" - then it was the first DesiLu Studios, where they filmed most of the "I Love Lucy" episodes.  Until 1998 the studio was the headquarters of David E. Kelley Productions - "Chicago Hope," "Picket Fences," "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal" - all filmed here, before he moved everything to the new Manhattan Beach Studios.

Here it is at high noon.

Ren-Mar Studios - 846 North Cahuenga Boulevard,
Ren-Mar Studios - 846 North Cahuenga Boulevard,

Yeah that back wall reads Hollyweed.  On January 1, 1976, California got its new marijuana law, changing possession of marijuana from a felony to a misdemeanor. The prison system was flooded and needed cleared, so this might help.  At the time one Danny Finegood was enrolled at Cal State University Northridge as an art major, and in his environmental sculpture class was given an assignment to create something relative to scale. He and his friends changed the famous sign that New Years Day. He got an A on the assignment. The sign was quickly changed back. Perhaps they're making a movie about it.

But the sad news earlier this year - "Danny Finegood, former CSUN student, artist and prankster behind the "Hollyweed" sign, died Jan. 22 at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital due to complications of multiple myeloma. He was 52." Sic transit gloria mundi and all.

Times change of course - the classic sitcom "Make Room For Daddy" (starring Danny Thomas) was made here, as well as interior shots for "The Andy Griffith Show" (the exterior Mayberry sets were at Culver Studios). This place was also home to "The Jack Benny Show" and "Our Miss Brooks" and "Hoganís Heroes" and "That Girl" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

The back end is just industrial looking, but then there was some major star's trailer parked on the street.  There just wasn't any star around to photograph. Sorry. Hollywood isn't like that. People work.

Ren-Mar Studios - 846 North Cahuenga Boulevard,
Ren-Mar Studios - 846 North Cahuenga Boulevard,
Ren-Mar Studios - 846 North Cahuenga Boulevard,

The neighborhood is full of post-production shops of course. You have to love the cowboys at the LaserPacific Media headquarters, just across the street, at 809 North Cahuenga.  The basics on them -

    LaserPacific Media Corporation, part of Kodak, is a post-production facility in Hollywood offering a variety of end-to-end services for the entertainment industry. It provides technological solutions, including services such as 16 and 35 mm film processing, telecine, film scanning and recording, digital intermediates (DI), multimedia, sound editing and mixing, as well as digital cinema packaging for customers ranging from independent filmmakers to major studios. Most recently, LaserPacific has created a new workflow for independent film makers called inDI. It was acquired by Eastman Kodak in late 2003.

The cowboys probably have to do with one of the recent three hundred fifteen films they worked on.  Maybe the cowboys are visiting from Kodak, in Rochester, New York.

LaserPacific Media headquarters, - 809 North Cahuenga -  cowboys

Next door, Anderson Printing - 855 North Cahuenga - just has a cool wall.

Anderson Printing - 855 North Cahuenga

On the way home, up on Sunset, some commentary on the movies - Mickey Mouse Gone Bad - on a beach towel in a shop window -

Mickey Mouse Gone Bad - on a beach towel in a shop window -  Sunset Boulevard

And some movies bomb - so here's a bomb (the store is Killer Toi - punk and Goth clothes) -

Pink bomb graphic, Sunset Boulevard

If you wish to use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me. And should you choose to download any of these images and use them invoking the 'fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, please provide credit, and, on the web, a link back this site.

Technical Note:

Most of these photographs were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0.  Earlier photography was done with a Sony Mavica digital still camera (MVC-FD-88) with built-in digital zoom.

[Cahuenga High Noon]

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 - Alan M. Pavlik