Historic Buildings

Many of the buildings on the Sony Pictures Studio (SPS) lot have been standing for decades and have their own unique back-story. Here’s a brief look at a few of the studio's more interesting structures: the Capra, Cohn, and Crawford buildings, Stages 15 and 30 and the Water Tower.
The Capra Building at Sony Pictures Studios (SPS), named for Columbia Pictures’ star director Frank Capra, was occupied for many years by Metrocolor, MGM’s film processing lab. During the studio’s renovation in the early 1990’s, the building was re-designed to resemble a courthouse and bank for filming exterior locations and the original façade was aged to reflect Capra’s era. One side of the Capra building displays a long stretch of faux window fronts dressed with the studio’s props and wardrobe, also used as exterior locations for such film and television programs as SPIDER-MAN™, PARTY OF FIVE, and THE KING OF QUEENS. Today, the Capra building is home to the Sony Pictures Digital Authoring Center (DAC), one of the premiere multi-format authoring houses in the world and a leader in R&D home entertainment technologies. Starting with the theatrical master, the DAC re-masters for a variety of content distribution channels, such as Sony PSP Video, VOD, DVD, Blu-ray® High Definition, cell phones and solid-state media.
Naming a building after legendary director Frank Capra was an obvious choice given the remarkable success of the films he made for studio chief Harry Cohn and Columbia Pictures. During his heyday, Capra’s films touched a chord with the audience like never before, bringing accolades, Oscars® and box-office dollars to the studio and Capra himself. Capra’s IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT in 1934 was the first film ever to sweep the "Top 5" Oscars® for Picture, Actor (Clark Gable), Actress (Claudette Colbert), Screenplay and Directing. The film catapulted Columbia Pictures into a true competitive position in the industry and Capra continued to make more movie classics like MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (1935,) YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, (1938) and MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939). All in all, Capra’s decade working with Cohn earned him three Best Director Academy Awards® and a total of 35 nominations and wins to Columbia. Frank Capra also had a long-standing history in Culver City, having started his career as a gag writer for the OUR GANG comedies at the Hal Roach Studios, once located at the intersection of National and Washington Boulevards.

The Capra building on the Sony Pictures lot.

Frank Capra, Barbara Stanwyck on the set of LADIES OF LEISURE, 1930.