Cowboy legends such as John Wayne, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers rode their horses here.
Superheroes such as Commando Cody, Captain Marvel and the Rocket Man flew through here.
Legendary divas such as Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck and Maureen O'Hara did their hair here.
Here is Republic Pictures, and residents of Studio City are invited to a 75th birthday party for the famed movie lot on Sept. 25. More on that in a bit.
Known for making B-list movies with A-list stars, Republic Pictures kept actors working through lean times and cranked out more than 50 movies a year in the heart of Studio City.
The site of CBS Radford Studios began as a studio lot as long ago as the silent movie days. In 1935, Mascot Pictures, Monogram Pictures and Consolidated Film Industries were falling on hard times, so they linked up with a few independent producers and formed Republic Studios at the same location.
The backlot grew from six to 23 sound stages and eventually built the largest scoring studio in the world. Republic entered the world of television in the 1950s and eventually broke up in 1959.
An amazing peek at the glory days of Republic Pictures—with movie stars, special effects tricks, cowboy stuntmen, history lectures, memorabilia displays and more— will be offered to the public when the studio opens it doors from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25.
And it is all free. The Cultural Affairs Committee of the Studio City Neighborhood Council and the Museum of the San Fernando Valley joined forces to put together the event.
"We wanted to invite the community to come and learn about the history right in their own back yard, but we've also had people contacting us to say they're coming from New York, Canada and all over especially for the event," said Lisa Cahan Davis, the outreach chairperson of the Studio City Neighborhood Council.
On that Saturday, film historian Leonard Maltin will host chats with Republic Pictures stars such as Theodore Bikel, Adrian Booth, Michael Chapin, Ben Cooper, Robert Easton, Coleen Gray, Eilene Janssen, Anne Jeffreys, Dick Jones, Jane Kean, Joan Leslie, Marjorie Lord, Jimmy Lydon, Hugh O'Brian, Peggy Stewart, Jane Withers, Ann Rutherford, Cindy Mitchum (John Mitchum's daughter, Robert Mitchum's niece), Cheryl Rogers (Roy Rogers' and Dale Evans' daughter), Patrick Curtis, George Lydecker, Bob Burns and others.
"It was truly an honor to be among the stars who attended the unveiling of the Republic sign," said Studio City Neighborhood Council president John T. Walker, discussing the celebs who posed at the studio for a special unveiling of a Republic sign that will hang near the studio gates. (See photo in the photo gallery).
Neighborhood Council board member Michael McCue added, "Here in Los Angeles and Hollywood we tend to bulldoze and bury our history. I think it's great that we are celebrating and remembering our local history with this event and movies that Republic Pictures have done. I personally love The Quiet Man, was that nominated for Best Picture?" (Yes, but it lost that year to The Greatest Show on Earth. But however director John Ford won best director, and the movie won for best cinematography.)
At the studio celebration, they'll be showing some of Republic's melodramatic serials and have live performances of Western music, gun spinners, rope twirlers, trick horses, cowboy poets and a special Republic Pictures stamp cancellation ceremony of the U.S. Postal Service's Cowboys of the Silver Screen postage stamps, which you can buy on the lot with the anniversary date on it.
On Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m., Cinecon, a movie memorabilia show, will host a movie night at the Egyptian Theatre. Starting off with a few shorts—Meet the Stars #7: Meet Roy Rogers from 1941 and It's a Grand Old Nag—and then offer a double feature, starting with Under Western Stars, a 1938 film starring Roy Rogers getting elected to Congress. He is determined to help his constituents get water in their district. When he runs up against resistance from one of his peers, he takes the elder congressmen on an inspection trip and strands him without water to make his point.
Then they'll screen the 1939 movie South of the Border, starring Gene Autry and Frog Millhouse as federal agents. It's the eve of World War II, and the agents head to Mexico to foil the schemes of a fleet of foreign spies at a submarine base.
Also, on Tuesday, Sept. 21, Hollywood historian Marc Wanamaker will speak about the history of Studio City and Republic Pictures for free at 7 p.m. at the Studio City Branch Library, 12511 Moorpark St.
For more information, go to the website: www.republicpictures75th.com
Also, look for the Patch.com booth at the festivities. Come by and say "Howdy!"