Jim Henson Company Selling Historic Charlie Chaplin Studios Lot

Shannen Ace

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A brick entrance with Tudor-style elements features a statue of Kermit, a green frog character, dressed in a suit and hat, tipping its hat.

Jim Henson Company Selling Historic Charlie Chaplin Studios Lot

The Henson family is in the process of selling the historic Jim Henson Company Lot, which was originally Charlie Chaplin Studios.

Jim Henson Company Selling Studios

A brick building with Tudor-style elements features a statue of a green frog character from the Jim Henson Company, dressed in a suit and hat, tipping its hat.

The sale is “part of a much longer-term strategy to have The Jim Henson Company and our renowned Burbank-based Jim Henson’s Creature Shop under one roof, which is not feasible in Hollywood due to the space the Shop requires.” (via The Wrap)

The Jim Henson Company will remain as a tenant on the lot. It’s been the company’s headquarters since 2000 but was established by Charlie Chaplin in 1919. Chaplin filmed “The Great Dictator,” “The Kid,” Modern Times,” “The Gold Rush,” and more at the studio. Over the years, Chaplin sold some spaces and rented out others. In the 1950s, he sold the lot to real estate development firm Webb and Knapp.

Red Skelton bought the studio in 1960 and named it Skelton Studios. He sold it to CBS in 1962 and they used the studio to film “Perry Mason.” Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss purchased the studio in 1966 and turned it into the A&M headquarters. The lot’s recording studios were used to record hits like “We Are the World.” The lot was named a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1969.

When the Jim Henson Company purchased the lot in 1999, chairman Brian Henson said, “When we heard the Chaplin lot was for sale, we had to have it. It’s the perfect home for the Muppets and our particular brand of classy but eccentric entertainment.” (via Los Angeles Business Journal)

CEO Lisa Henson called the lot a “lovable hodge-podge of quirky, unusual spaces. There are unexpected elements in some of the offices, like original vaults and fish-tank-like bathrooms. It’s not your typical corporate space, but it’s ideal for the Muppets.”

The facility is 80,000-square-feet, including recording studios, a 10,000-square-foot sound stage, and original woodworking shop. When the Jim Henson Company officially reopened the lot in 2000, they unveiled a 12-foot statue of Kermit the Frog dressed as Chaplin’s character The Tramp.

The Henson family soon after sold the company to EM.TV Merchandising, but repurchased the company in 2003. The next year, they sold the rights to the Muppet characters to The Walt Disney Company.

The Jim Henson Company has since used the lot for projects like “Earth to Ned.”

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