Jim Henson Company Putting Chaplin Lot Up For Sale

Jim Henson Company
Image via FilmBuffOnline

The Jim Henson Company is putting up its home for the last 25 years for sale. The 80,000 acre lot, first built by silent film star Charlie Chaplin for his own productions is up for sale as part of a process that the company envisions will combine the their studio and Creature Shop under one roof.

According to The Wrap, the sale is “part of a much longer-term strategy to have The Jim Henson Company and our renowned Burbank-based Jim Henson’s Creature Shop under one roof, which is not feasible in Hollywood due to the space the Shop requires.” The company plans to continue staying at the N La Brea Avenue location as a tenant following the sale in the short term while the Burbank Creature Shop location is prepared for their arrival.

Chaplin built the original facility in 1919, it featured a 10,000 square foot sound stage and woodworking as well as apartments, a tennis court and a backlot. The iconic silent film star used the facility to produce some of his biggest hits including The Kid, The Gold Rush, Modern Times and The Great Dictator. Chaplin sold off some of the land in 1942 and finally divested himself entirely of the facility a decade later. The studio space was bought by real estate development firm Webb and Knapp who rented it out for various film and television productions, including the classic George Reeves series The Adventures Of Superman. Comedian Red Skelton owned the Lot for a brief period between 1960 and 1962, before he sold it to CBS. In 1966, A&M Records purchased the lot as a headquarters and recording studio and by 1969 the location had been deemed a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

The site was purchased by the Jim Henson Company in 1999, and appeared on screen in 2011’s The Muppets as Muppet Studios.

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About Rich Drees 7221 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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