Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study
Located in the heart of Hollywood, the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study is a building rich with Hollywood history.
The Academy's Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study was dedicated in honor of legendary silent film actress Mary Pickford in 2002. Pickford was one of the founding members of the Academy.
In addition to the 286-seat Dunn Theater, the building houses several Academy departments, including the Academy Film Archive, the Science and Technology Council, and the Grants and Nicholl Fellowship programs.
The building was originally built in 1947–48 as a radio and television studio facility at a cost of $3 million. It was designed by Claude Beelman (1884–1963) and his associate, Herman Spackler. Other Beelman buildings include the Hollywood Branch Post Office (1937) and the Thalberg Administration Building (1938) now on the Sony Pictures lot.
The dedication of the Don Lee-Mutual Broadcasting building was originally scheduled for May 18, 1948, but construction delays turned the event into a press tour of the facilities. The building was dedicated on August 18, 1948. It is the oldest surviving structure in Hollywood that was originally designed specifically with television in mind.
Cadillac dealer Don Lee got into broadcasting to stay competitive with his friend Earle C. Anthony, a Packard dealer, who bought radio station KFI as a method of appealing to his customers. Lee bought KFRC in San Francisco and KHJ in Los Angeles, ultimately building the chain to 12 West Coast stations. On November 5, 1930, Don Lee station KHJ and Paramount station KNX broadcast the third annual Academy Awards on Lee's Pacific Coast network.
Lee began dabbling in television in 1930 by hiring Harry Lubcke, a laid-off assistant to Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of television. Lubcke set up a station on the top floor of Don Lee's Cadillac headquarters at Seventh and Bixel streets. The station used the call letters W6XAO. Since TV receivers didn't exist yet, Lubcke designed and provided free schematics to electronics enthusiasts in the Los Angeles area to build their own. After 100 or so had built receivers, W6XAO, Channel 1, began to broadcast an hour a day, six days a week.
Though named for him, Lee, who had died 14 years earlier, never saw this building.
The building was the original home of Los Angeles Channel 2, which is now KCBS-TV, through the 1950s.
In the 1950s, 1313 Vine Street was the home of KHJ-TV and was the studio for Johnny Carson's earliest mid-'50s television appearances before "The Tonight Show," including "Carson's Cellar" and "The New Johnny Carson Show."
It was the original home, from 1964 through 1971, of California Community Television, which grew into PBS station KCET. It was also ABC's headquarters for the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics and the home of many ABC television shows.
Some of the other shows broadcast from 1313 Vine Street over the years were: "Queen for a Day," "Heart's Desire," "What's the Name of That Song?," "Don Lee Music Hall," "My Friend Irma," "Jimmy Wakely Show," "Bill Stulla Show," "Oxydol Show," "Your Claim to Fame," "Joey Bishop Show," "Barney Miller," "Dating Game," and "Newlywed Game."