Hollywood, CA (March 14, 2023)—Addressing industry rumors that United Recording Studios in Hollywood is shuttering, a spokesperson for the famed facility announced that the studio is instead revamping its business model.
Modern recording industry pioneer Bill Putnam, Sr., legendary for his Universal Audio and UREI recording equipment designs, established United Recording Corp. at 6050 Sunset Boulevard after relocating to Hollywood from Chicago in 1957. Putnam sold the multi-room complex in 1984 to Allen Sides, who renamed it Ocean Way Recording. In 2013, real estate investment firm Hudson Pacific Properties acquired Ocean Way Recording and, in 2015, the facility’s name was restored to United Recording Studios.
“United Recording is one of the entertainment industry’s most storied and celebrated recording studios, and the changes we have made will keep that heritage intact by strengthening the studio’s financial position while ensuring our clients have the best possible experience,” a United Recording spokesperson said in a prepared statement.
“Beginning April 3, 2023, we will require longer minimum bookings for recording sessions and will rent the facility out for events and location shoots. The minimum booking length will depend on the needs of the session and other factors, but our historic facility will remain open for use, and we will continue to maintain the studios and equipment.”
Over the years, a Who’s Who of entertainment talent has worked at the complex, from Frank Sinatra—who, with Bing Crosby, helped fund Putnam’s new Hollywood venture—through the Beach Boys and Phil Spector to Green Day, Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers in more recent years. During the Super Bowl, sharp-eyed viewers may have spotted a new Doritos TV commercial shot in United’s Studio A.
The facility will continue to offer its United Archiving service while evaluating measures to strengthen United Recording’s financial position, the statement continues. There are no planned changes to current agreements with third-party tenants.
While the project description for the Sunset Gower Studios Enhancement Plan currently before LA’s Department of City Planning lists 6050 Sunset among other addresses, and states that, “Demolition activities would include the removal of an individually eligible historic structure and contributors and non-contributors to a prospective historic district,” there are no plans to demolish the United Recording property, the statement also notes.
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According to the facility’s spokesperson, “The historic building is an important piece of LA’s entertainment heritage, and we will continue to maintain the property in alignment with historic building guidelines. During our entitlement process for the Sunset Gower Enhancement Plan, we collaboratively worked with leaders in the historic preservation field, including the Los Angeles Conservancy and Hollywood Heritage, to develop a plan that not only protected the historic district for Sunset Gower Studios but also protected United Recording. Our commitment to those groups, as documented in our site plans with the city, was to not demolish United Recording but instead relocate the building on the lot for its long-term preservation.”
The statement continues, “We are in the process of making updates to the Sunset Gower Enhancement Plan for the city’s review and those updates are unrelated to the changes in United Recording’s business model, which are to ensure United Recording has the strong financial position necessary to continue to operate successfully going forward.”
Unfortunately, the statement also notes, there have been some staff changes. “We have retained employees to continue operating the studios under this new business model. As part of our efforts to strengthen the studio’s financial position and ensure it continues to operate successfully, we unfortunately had to reduce the number of staff we employ.”
• An earlier online version of this story inadvertently included a photo of EastWest Studios (6000 Sunset Blvd.), misidentifying it as United Recording Studios (6050 Sunset Blvd.). EastWest Studios is not involved with or connected to United. Mix regrets the error.