Kaufman Astoria Studios has been making entertainment history for 98 years. Its doors were opened by the legendary Adolph Zukor and Jesse Lasky in 1920. Eventually, the studio became home for Paramount Pictures, and during the next 20 years, over 120 silent films and “talkies” were produced at the studio.
At the start of WWII, the Studio was taken over by the U.S. Signal Corps and became known as the Army Pictorial Center and a top secret base. During this time the studio was home for the filming and development of every moving image seen by the armed forces.
The Army did this work here until 1970, and after that, the Studio eventually fell into disuse, until a non-profit foundation, now the Museum of the Moving Image, re-opened the big stage in 1977 for the production of “The Wiz.”
In 1980, New York City turned to real estate developer George S. Kaufman to renovate, expand and revive this national landmark. George knew that by creating the best full-service comprehensive studio he could use it as a catalyst to rejuvenate a neighborhood that had fallen on hard times when the Army pulled out. Working with the public and private leaders of the community he was able to achieve his goal.
Today, Kaufman Astoria Studios and its campus has been proclaimed the Kaufman Arts District and is the location for major motion pictures and television shows. Our stages have been graced by actors such as Jennifer Lopez, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Ben Stiller, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Tom Hanks, Edie Falco, Big Bird and many other esteemed stars.
When you look at the big screen or television, it is a good bet that what you are watching was done in New York and probably right here at Kaufman. As Dorothy would say, there’s no place like home.