5746 Sunset Blvd
Hollywood, California

The following brief history of the founding of the studio was written by the son of Edward Nassour, also named Edward:

My dad purchased the land on Sunset in the early forties. Originally, there were just the old, one story commercial structures and one of them was converted into a rather small shooting stage. My dad had this dream of having a purposeful built modern studio so he along with his brother and business partner Bill had the old buildings demolished and went ahead with the new construction. This took place around 1948 [actually construction was in 1946 as the new studio opened on January 1, 1947: editor]. Originally, there were four sound stages ranging in size from around 7,600 sq. feet to just over 13,000 sq. ft. (Later Metromedia added two more as well as large office buildings) A modern Art Deco-styled projection room and modern offices were located on the buildings fronting Sunset. Dressing rooms were constructed adjacent to stages 1 and 2. An old converted two story apartment building located down the street on Van Ness housed producers and writers. The big stage (4) had removable panels that hid a water tank. It was used to film the jungle river scenes in "Africa Screams." The lot was very small (about 4 acres) so an underground facility for storage was necessary. A large freight elevator was installed for access. 

Over 100 independent films were shot there while under my family's ownership, with "Africa Screams," "Mrs. Mike" and "For Men Only" being produced by my dad under the Nassour Studios banner. They changed "For Men Only" to "The Tall Lie" for TV. The film's story looked into fraternity hazing that in real life had caused the death of a pledge. It was one of the first appearances for Vera Miles as well as for Russell Johnson (later the professor on "Gilligan's Island"). That one was co-produced by the film's director and star Paul Henreid who had a partnership arrangement. My dad and Henreid had formed H-N Productions to make several films, but that was the only one that was ever produced. Henreid remained a close friend of my father up until my dad's death in 1962.

Famed character actor Donald Crisp, who was a close friend of my father, invested money in the studio's construction. 

Orson Wells had offices at my dad's studio as did Henreid along with Pine-Thomas Productions. The stages were the first in LA to be built with TV in mind. My dad had elevated booths built that looked out onto stages 1 & 2 and each stage had coaxial cable connectors.

In 1950 my dad sold the studio to Norman Chandler who owned The Los Angeles Times. He was looking for a facility to permanently house KTTV channel 11 and my dad's studio fit the bill perfectly. At the time they were crammed into the tall and very narrow Bekins Building on Highland in Hollywood and needed more space. My dad kept his offices there until about 1952 when he purchased a lot at 8460 W. Third. There he built a small stage along with offices, a machine shop and a projection room. The location now features a strip mall, the older buildings having been razed years ago. An old 1950's TV show, "Andy's Gang" used the small stage and facilities at Third Street. When my dad made "The Beast of Hollow Mountain" the small stage was used for all the animation work.

The front of the Nassour Studio.

The front of the Nassour Studio at night.

An aerial view of the studio.

Edward Nassour standing in center, Donald Crisp (second from left and a silent partner), William Nassour seated to the left and producer Sam Bishoff seated to the right.

(From a poor copy of a newspaper)
L to R: Harrison Dunham, Edward Nassour, Omar Johnson, William Nassour

The following photograph was taken on Saturday, April 19, 2003, and shows the death of the studio. The site is being cleared of all buildings for the construction of a new high school. You can faintly see the "Nassour Studio" and "Channel 11" on the side of the building.

My dad built that studio to last. There was a big fire on stage 4 several years ago and the stage didn't collapse. It wouldn't be feasible to use that sort of high quality construction methods today. The big Raleigh studio in Manhattan Beach is basically just a notch better than cheap tilt-up construction. I've been there with the doors closed and if a jet passes overhead and is loud, the sound leaks into the stage. When my dad completed his studio and had an open house, he parked a fire engine next to one of the stages, closed the gigantic elephant doors and had the firemen turn on the siren. Nobody could hear it inside the stage!

All photographs on this page used through the permission of Edward Nassour, son of the studio's co-founder, Edward Nassour, except for the newspaper copy.