Magical History Tour – About Technicolor

If the Hollywood “dream factory” had an address, it may very well have been at the corner of Romaine and Cole – the site of Television Center, and in an earlier incarnation, the original Hollywood Technicolor laboratory.

Built in the 1920’s, the property was home to one of the most important revolutions in film history – 3-stripe color. It also housed the processing lab that churned out the lion’s share of American films made during Hollywood’s ‘golden age’ from the late-20s through the 50s. The history of glorious 3-stripe Technicolor films spanned from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1938), through countless musicals including “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) and “Singin’ in the Rain”(1952), culminating with “The Godfather, Part II” (1974) – the last American film to utilize the Technicolor dye process.

During its Hollywood run, Technicolor changed the way movies are composed, shot and processed, ushering the industry from black and white film, to primitive two-stripe (green and red) color, and finally to ‘modern’ three-stripe color. In the bigger picture, by making the films qualitatively so much more lifelike and emotionally engaging, the company could also be credited with changing the way movies are watched – affording infinitely more empathy and emotional immersion among viewers.

In light of Technicolor’s revolutionary contribution to film – and indeed world – history, the Television Center building has become an important Hollywood landmark. And Technicolor’s legacy still permeates Television Center – from our massive film vaults to “The Patio,” our brick outdoor lunch area, which once housed the alcohol distillery that Technicolor used for film processing.

The magic of our historic building continues. Make Television Center the home of your creative business endeavor!