top of page

From the famed GATES?  To the famed WATER TOWER.. Here's Paramount's story..

To immediately skip down to Jesse Laskey's story, click here.. 

To immediately skip down to Samuel Goldwyn's story, click here... 

To immediately skip down to Adolf Zukor's story, click here...

Paramount Pictures Corporation, (also known simply as Paramount), is an American film studio based in Hollywood, California, that has been a subsidiary of the American media conglomerate Viacom since 1994. It started out as, "Famous Players Lasky Film Company.."

Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world, the second oldest in the United States, and a sole member of the "Big Six" film studios still located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood.  The name Paramount, came about through one of it's founders, Jesse Lasky, who said - while working on the first ever "full length film'... "I won't stop, until this film is PARAMOUNT!

Paramount is the last major film studio still headquartered in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.

Paramount Pictures dates its existence from the 1912 founding date of the Famous Players Film Company. Hungarian-born co-founder Adolph Zukor, who had been an early investor in nickelodeons, saw that movies appealed mainly to working-class immigrants. 


By mid-1913, Famous Players had completed five films, and Zukor was on his way to success. Its first film was Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth, which starred Sarah Bernhardt.

That same year, another aspiring producer, Jesse L. Lasky, opened his Lasky Feature Play Company with money borrowed from his brother-in-law, Samuel Goldfish, later known as Samuel Goldwyn. The Lasky company hired as their first employee a stage director with virtually no film experience, Cecil B. DeMille, who would find a suitable site in Hollywood, near Los Angeles, for his first feature film, The Squaw Man.


Paramount Pictures' first logo, based on a design by William Wadsworth Hodkinson, used from 1917 to 1967. 

Starting in 1914, both Lasky and Famous Players released their films through a start-up company, Paramount Pictures Corporation.. Paramount was the first successful nationwide distributor; until this time, films were sold on a statewide or regional basis which had proved costly to film producers. Also, Famous Players and Lasky were privately owned while Paramount was a corporation.

Paramount was the first successful nationwide distributor; until this time, films were sold on a statewide or regional basis which had proved costly to film producers. Also, Famous Players and Lasky were privately owned while Paramount was a corporation.

The logos have varied, though not by much, through the years.. ​In 1916, film producer Adolph Zukor put 22 actors and actresses under contract and honored each with a star on the logo.. The stars remain, today!!

The current Paramount Pictures logo..


"It will be as long as it need be to get the tender value across, make it the best.  I will not be satisfied until that film is PARAMOUNT!! ~ Jesse Lasky

Jesse Lasky was a man with solid focus, ambition, and had one goal...achieve it and be it!  By far one of the most relaxed, home spun, zesty moguls.  In the years of researching this man, I don't think I can remember a time when someone recalls Jesse as harsh or abrasive.  He is the father of full-length motion pictures..and his story...starts now...He was born Jesse Louis Laskey, in the heart of the San Fransisco Bay....September 13, 1880.  From the time he was a child, he was entertaining whomever he could find to entertain.  Once he was a bit older, he moved his act to the streets of San Fran and found out through he could make a living at it...from there on - he made it his personal be an entertainer.  From the streets, he moved on to vaudeville.  While in vaudeville - he met a man with similar interests named Samuel Goldwyn.  They became fast friends.  1909 was a good year for Lasky.  Upon meeting Lasky's sister, Goldwyn courted her..badabing bells and poof..Goldwyn and Lasky's sis...were married.  There would also be wedding bells for Lasky.  While on vacation in Adirondaks, he met a young lady named Bessie Ginzberg.  They were married in December, in Boston.  Together, they would have 3 children..and stay married for life.. READ more!!..

Samuel Goldwyn

"I am a rebel. I make a picture to please me. If it pleases me, there is a chance it will please others. But it has to please me first." ~ Samuel Goldwyn

GOLDFISH!! haha .. Samuel Goldwyn, was born Schmuel Gelbfisz, on a scorching summer day on August 17th, 1879, in Warsaw, Poland (now Russia.). A curious child, Sam was always looking for something. As a child he specialized in digging in the dirt. (as an adult too..he knew your dirt before you walked through his studio gates.) Never wavering to show family what he had found first hand...'some of it was pretty interesting to say the least,' recalls his uncle Jon. "He was destned to be the best damn golddigger the world had ever seen." It might have been a good passage for him had the filming bizz not got 'hold of him in later years. At age 15, young Goldwyn's father died. It seemed to be an epiphany for him and he left Warsaw for London, England via foot. Upon arrival he found himself doing odd jobs before securing work in a blacksmith shop. He would stay in England, living here with family, the next four years. He had made up his mind to come to America not long after arrival in Engand. Working and saving every penny, at age 19 ... he, along with his older sister, boarded that great immigrant boat with so many touting the American dream. READ more..


"Those of us of whom chose the business of film - have often been poked fun of. Yet one thing is certain: every man who succeeded was a born showman. And once in show business he was never happy out of it." ~ Adolph Zukor


Adolph Zukor was born a Jewish boy, January 7th, 1873, in Ricse, Hungary.  From a very early age, young Zukor was a money shaker & maker and, 'not afraid of getting his elbows dirty for an extra piece of money.'  He envied his cousins for living in the land of opportunity.  Much of his family had immigrated to America in the late 1860's, however, because of his fathers good job in Hungary - his father and mother stayed in Hungary.  At the age of 16, young Zukor immigrated by himself to New York where he lived with family and landed work as an upholsterer.  He quickly moved his way to supervisor because of his 'creative eye' for making the 'old' look 'new!'  His reputation for this spread quickly and he was soon working for himself.  By age 19, he was an accomplished, proven, designer unlike any other.  He lived here...clearly he was not having money problems...cleeeaarly!! ..READ more!

bottom of page