’40 Acres is the misnomer that was given to what was actually about 29 acres of land in Culver City, California, first used as a movie studio backlot in 1926 by Cecil DeMille, after he leased the property from Italian immigrate Achille Casserini (on March 22, 1926). DeMille’s production company utilized the backlot for numerous silent films, including The King of Kings (1927), for which a large Jerusalem temple and town were constructed, The Fighting Eagle (1927), The Forbidden Woman (1927) and The Godless Girl (1929), DeMille’s last silent, and for which a large reform school set was built on the lot.
‘In 1928, DeMille’s Culver City studio and backlot were acquired by RKO Pictures, whose films which employed the backlot included Bird of Paradise (1932) and the 1933 classic, King Kong. In 1937, David Selznick acquired the property in a long-term lease, and used the backlot to re-create a Civil War-era Atlanta for his 1939 epic Gone With The Wind (after filming the burning of numerous leftover sets on the lot, including the “King Kong” gate, to depict the burning of Atlanta in the film).
‘Under a variety of owners over the next two decades, the backlot appeared in dozens of films, and by the early 1950’s, the lot began to appear in television productions, including The Adventures of Superman. Pictured above in an aerial view from 1963, the backlot had recently changed ownership to Desilu Studios. For the next ten years, the backlot would provide outdoor locales for Desilu’s own television productions, as well as for series produced by others.
‘Some of the notable series filmed on 40 Acres included Hogan’s Heroes, Batman, Mission: Impossible, The Untouchables, Star Trek, Gomer Pyle, and The Andy Griffith Show for which the streets of Atlanta constructed for Gone With The Wind served as the town of “Mayberry.” Paramount Pictures eventually bought out Desilu, and in 1968, sold off the Culver City studio facilities. As the studio continued to change hands, the “40 Acres” backlot fell out of use and into disrepair in the early 1970’s, and in 1976 it was bulldozed and the land was sold to industry.’ — Retroweb.com
Then and Now:
40 ACRES BACKLOT FLY OVER (1957)
40 Acre Backlot Today
p.s. Hey. ** Wolf, Happy 2021! Even numbers bug me. I’d like to be hypnotised to find out why. Refried beans … I would borderline kill for a plate of them. She’s good. Spark. I’m like that about Paris. Anything that describes or shows how Paris looked and was before I saw it for myself is like sirloin in a dog bowl to me. Wow, they have ‘LCTG’? Either they have supremely good taste or they’re one of those places that automatically stock any movie that has LGTBT interest. Hopefully the former. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. I’ve never understood Elizabeth Taylor. I don’t know why. I probably mentioned this but Vogue Magazine once me offered an insane amount of money relatively speaking to interview Elizabeth Taylor, and I said no because I just don’t understand her. I lost three gay friends over that decision. One of them slapped me. ** Jeff Coleman, Well, a very happy New Year to you, Jeff! Sorry I hit the publish button too early. Wow, amazing about that Guyotat text. I didn’t know about that. Wow, thank you so much! What an excellent looking site. I’m going to trawl it for post material post-haste. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. New milo, great! I love milo. I’ll go get that right away. Thank you. Okay, then I offer my sincere condolences about the cold there. Or at least for your apartment’s commiseration with it. Rohmer-like … excellent, obviously. The first Strokes album was a beaut, lightning in a bottle. Turned out they only had one idea, and it required no more than one album to complete it. Um, there were tons of smart rock fans listening to danceable music back in the 80s. Scritti Politti, The Associates, and I could on and on. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hey, Ben. Did I spotlight that book before? I think I’ve mentioned this, but there’s still a big batch of posts from the murdered blog that I have yet to transfer off a hard drive and into this new blog’s repair shop area, so it’s probably hidden there. Dang. Dundee’s coolness could totally work to your and YnY’s advantage, man. Seriously. ** H, Hi, and very happy New Year to you in return! ** Misanthrope, So that’s what your handwriting looks like, eh? Slightly fucked up rightward slant. Interesting. Well, re: your friend, it’s easy for me to let her off the hook not having been there to see her face and hear her tone of voice and so on. I guess I just imagine that what you had with her before the reveal is what matters, but I don’t know. Well, she wasn’t direct with you because she sensed you would be bothered by her opinion, which, when she was direct with you, you were? I mean I have easily as many straight friends as gay ones, and possibly even more, and I don’t expect them to interested in gay stuff, and they don’t expect me to be into hetero-specific stuff, and we relate on the things we have in common, and our friendships are just as full-on real and important as the ones with gays I know. This has nothing to do with your situation, but, tangentially, this is such a fucked up time. So, so many people, especially on social media, expect everyone else to be in 100% agreement with them about politics or movies or celebrity or really anything, and if your opinions don’t precisely line up with theirs, you’re an objectionable rat. The mania for conformity these days is nauseating to me. But I digress. Well, if what you’re writing challenges people’s preconceptions of what you write about, then that’s a huge plus. ** Bernard, Hi, B. ‘Three Billboards’ hasn’t gotten over here yet, but I’m curious about it. Excellent words/thoughts on Spark, thank you! I very easily imagined getting the meat bit of what you cooked outta there, and now I’m famished. Oh my god, green-chili cornbread. You can ask me a favour, you of all people. Do. God, I hope you’re right about this year. You nailed my own hopes in a nutshell. ** James Nulick, Hi. You might like her stuff. I could see it. Yes, I saw ‘Under the Skin’. Yes, it’s excellent, multi, I agree with you, yes. Happy Tuesday. ** Sypha, ‘Prey’ sounds most excellent. I personally have a low tolerance for games that ask you to fight for your life every 15 seconds, but I’ll look at it. Also, I’m pretty sure it will trigger my extreme fear of being outer space, space walks, and the like. Even watching movies where that happens, I feel like I can’t breathe and grip the arms of my chair like I’m in a car whose brakes have gone out. Anyway, your description/review of the game was a glory to read, and I’m both pretty sold and extremely nervous. ** Bill, Hi, Bill. Ah, you’re home. I figured so. My 2018 has been almost strangely uneventful so far. Are you enjoying yours? ** Chris Cochrane, Hi, Chris. Ha ha. I was a giant fan of Roxy Music at the time Eno split off, and I was instantly over the moon in love with ‘Here Come the Warm Jets’ to the point of semi-backburnering Roxy from there on in. It actually brought me around on Fripp as I had long, long since lost interest in King Crimson. I still think his ‘Baby’s on Fire’ solo is possibly the greatest guitar solo ever. ‘HCtWJ’ sounded like the future to me. It made me decide that other contemporaneous rock adventurers like Bowie and Peter Gabriel and so on were miles behind him. It’s still one of the great all-time rock albums, I think. ‘Taking Tiger Mountain’ is even greater. That one seemed like the Sgt. Pepper of the ’70s at the time, and it still kind of does. So that’s what I thought. ‘No Pussyfooting’ was excellent, yeah, I was way into that. The same period Phil Manzanera solo album ‘Diamond Head’ that Eno worked heavily on is another unsung jewel. It’s 48 degrees here. Yawn. ** Right. I restored today’s post both because I love this kind of stuff and also because I lived about a 3 minute drive by car from Forty Acres during its last six or so months of existence, and I used to wander around outside its outer fence gazing in at the crumbling movie sets like a tiny bedazzled child. See you tomorrow.