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Adolph Zukor, the owner of a novelty company New York Nickelodeon secured American distribution rights to Sarah Bernhart's four-reel film, Queen Elizabeth.
This dates all the way back to 1912 and after the films triumphant searchlight
opening that was billed as the first EVER full length Dramatization to be
shown in the United States, Mr ZUKOR created the Famous Players Film Company.
Beginning first to produce films or movies in New York; notably The Count of
Monte Cristo Directed by Emmett J Flynn and starring John Gilbert and Estelle
Taylor and then The Prisoner of Zenda starring Lewis Stone, Alice Terry and
Ramon Navarro a year later.
After a year of successes Mr ZUKOR invested his companys success in a film distribution company
tentatively named Paramount Pictures.
June 28, 1916 marked a turning point in the industry's history. The Jesse L. Lasky Company, which was producing films in Hollywood, merged with Famous Players to form the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. The corporation consolidated its production and distribution divisions, and audiences began seeing "Paramount Pictures." Zukor and Lasky then constructed a vast new studio on Marathon Street in Hollywood, which the company has occupied since 1926. Paramount's early artists included directors Cecil B. DeMille and William S. Hart, and stars
beside John Gilbert were Mary Pickford, Rudolf Valentino and Clara Bow.
Wings, Starring Clara Bow a 1928
Paramount release, received the very first Academy Award® for Best Picture from the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
A few of Paramount's memorable post-World War II films include: The Ten Commandments, White Christmas, Shane, Romeo and Juliet, True Grit, The Godfather films, Ordinary People, Reds, Terms of Endearment, Saturday Night Fever, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, Ghost, The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, the Star Trek movies, Indecent Proposal, Forrest Gump, Braveheart, Mission: Impossible, and Titanic. Many of these titles are available from Paramount Home Entertainment. Please check
the studio's online catalogue.
Gulf+Western Industries, Inc. acquired control of Paramount on March 24, 1966. The corporation turned its interest toward the new entertainment division, and on June 5, 1989, G+W was renamed Paramount Communications, Inc.
On March 11, 1994, Paramount merged with Viacom Inc., under the leadership of Sumner Redstone, Executive Chairman of the Board and Founder. In January 2006, Viacom split into two separate publicly-traded companies: CBS Corporation and Viacom. The Paramount Motion Picture Group is part of Viacom which also includes MTV Networks, BET Networks and Famous Music.
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