On the eve of “The Tonight Show's” final show in Burbank, I felt compelled to visit Burbank's hometown newspaper and see what was being written. As expected, a mixture of melancholy and upbeat optimism about the future of Beautiful Downtown Burbank.
I was lucky to have worked as a page at NBC in the late 1970s. The network’s 3000 W. Alameda Ave. West Coast Headquarters was a hub of television production in those days. In addition to the nightly 5:30 p.m. tapings of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, the facility hosted Hollywood Squares, sitcoms, several game shows and a soap opera or two. Surrounding NBC were movie studios and video and audio support facilities too numerous to mention. Even Dick Clark Productions was nearly across the street.
NBC's Burbank facility was built in the 1950s. Originally called Color City, it was state-of-the-art in every way. I think, the first full-color video facility on the West Coast. Arriving from a small town in upstate New York, I can still remember vividly the first time I saw that impressive studio complex with the big multicolored peacock high above the intersection of Alameda and Olive avenues.