- in Production by Bobby Owsinski
The End Is Feared Near For Legendary United Recording Studios
One thing we all know is that real estate, especially in the middle of a big famous city, is expensive and grows more so every day. That’s why it’s never a surprise when a classic studio closes – the revenue generated doesn’t come near the value of the property it sits on. And such is the case of the legendary United Recording Studios in Hollywood.
United Recording is inching towards its final days, as all staff except one has been let go, will cease day to day operations on April 3rd, and will now only be rented out for film shoots and special events.
Not that anyone is surprised by this as the writing has been on the wall ever since Hudson Properties purchased the properties from engineer Allen Sides. Although the city has approved a plan for the entire studio to be picked up and moved onto the Gower film studio lot (which Hudson also owns), there’s not much faith in that happening, and even if it does, it’s unknown how much it will change the sound as a result. A 15 story building with film sound stages and office space is planned to be built on the spot where United now stands.
United has a rich history of making huge hits. Built by the famous engineer/audio innovator Bill Putnam in 1958 on the spot of a dilapidated film studio on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard, the studio was made famous for recording hits for Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Green Day, Beck, and so many more.
In 1961 Putnam purchased Western Studios next door and merged them into the powerhouse United Western Studios. Sides sold the Western part of the operation in 1999, when it became Cello Studios and then EastWest.
AES had named United Recording as one of its 7 Audio Wonders Of The World, but that doesn’t matter much to film studio bookkeepers. Once again, audio is the poor stepchild to picture.