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Prospect Avenue

As you walk into Hollywood Studios, everyone knows where Hollywood Boulevard is and where Sunset Boulevard is, but there's a little known street that intersects Hollywood Boulevard near the park entrance that is called Prospect Avenue.

Why did Imagineers name this street Prospect Avenue?  The answer is part of Hollywood's past.

One of the first major movie companies to be created was called Vitagraph, which was started in 1896 in Brooklyn, New York.  When Vitagraph looked to open a studio in Los Angeles, they chose the Los Feliz neighborhood and opened their new studio at the corner of Prospect Avenue and Talmadge Street.

Vitagrph Studios was home to a few silent film legends such as Clara Kimball Young, Wallace Reid, and even a pre-Hardy Stan Laurel.  However by 1925 Vitagraph hit rough times financially and was bought up by Warner Bros.  Warner Bros used this new lot to film movies such as The Jazz Singer, Public Enemy with James Cagney, and The Gold Diggers of 1933 with Ginger Rogers and Joan Blondell.

In 1948 the studio was once again sold, this time to the American Broadcasting Network, which later became known as ABC.  ABC filmed a number of game shows such as Let's Make a Deal and Dating Game.  In 1996 ABC was bought up by the Walt Disney Company and in 2000 the studio was renamed The Prospect Studios.  Today, it's where Grey's Anatomy is filmed.

Imagineers honored the historic Prospect Studios by naming one of its streets in Disney's Hollywood Studios after it.  Interestingly enough, the real Prospect Avenue never intersects with Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.

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About this column

Ever seen something in Hollywood Studios and wondered why it was placed there by Disney's Imagineers? Matt Hochberg leads you on a regular look at the hidden details in Hollywood Studios and explains why it's there.


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Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 by
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