The Old Warner Brothers Studio, officially called today Sunset Bronson Studios and also known as KTLA Studios and Tribune Studios, is a motion picture, radio and television production facility located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. The studio was the site where the first talking feature film, “The Jazz Singer” was filmed in 1927.
In 1930, Warner Bros. announced the consolidation of its executive offices with those of First National Studios, with the executive offices being moved from the Sunset Boulevard studio to the First National site in Burbank, California. Warner also began moving its filming to the Burbank studios in 1930 and 1931, though the Sunset Boulevard studios remained in active use during the 1930s both for motion picture filming and “phonograph recordings.” Even after the move to Burbank, Warner continued to film motion pictures at its Sunset Boulevard studios in the 1930s. Warner Bros. classic “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons were also reportedly made at the Sunset studio facilities.
In 1933, the Los Angeles Times reported that Warner Bros., “contrary to the popular view, is keeping its Sunset Boulevard studio in active use, with a company or two shooting there each day, and is also using the old Vitagraph plant.” In December 1934, a fire destroyed 15 acres (61,000 m2) of the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, forcing the company to put its Sunset Boulevard studio back into full use. At the time of the fire, Jack L. Warner noted: “We have ample facilities at our Sunset Boulevard studio to take care of all immediate mechanical and constructional requirements
In 1937, however, Warner had closed the Sunset Boulevard studio, and the property had been converted into a bowling alley and “sports center.” The Los Angeles Times reported on the conversion of the historic studio as follows:
“Note on the passing of an era: A painted sign hung over the front door is all there is to indicate that the Warner Brothers Sunset studio is no more. The birthplace of the Vitaphone is a ‘sports center,’ and Stage One, where many of the first talkies retched their way into being, is a battery of badminton courts.” “The birthplace of the talkies is disappearing into dust in Hollywood. Demolition crews are razing the older buildings of the old Warner Bros. Sunset Blvd. studio where the nasal voice of Al Jolson recorded on Vitaphone, first made talking pictures a commercial reality.” The old executive office building and large antenna which for years displayed the words “Warner Bros. Vitaphone” were preserved. However, the old theater where Warner executives watched screenings of the studio’s latest works was destroyed.There have been conflicting reports as to whether the soundstage on which “The Jazz Singer” was filmed was razed in the process. At the time, Klaus Landsberg noted that “only the older buildings, including the historic Stage 1, are being destroyed, that newer facilities on the big lot are being renovated and reconditioned for the television operation.