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FACTBOX: Key facts about Universal Studios

(Reuters) - A large fire broke out on Sunday on the Universal Studios film and television lot in Los Angeles, destroying movie sets and a sound stage. Below are some key facts about Universal Studios.

-- Universal Studios’ history dates to 1909 when Hollywood mogul Carl Laemmle formed Independent Moving Pictures Company of America, which was later merged with various other companies to form what would become Universal Studios Inc in 1996.

-- Universal Studios is in a hillside area surrounded by the City of Los Angeles and adjacent to the suburban community of Burbank.

-- Universal Studios in Los Angeles houses the Universal Pictures movie studio with its warehouse-like film and television soundstages and outdoor film sets, as well as the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park and shopping area.

-- Universal Pictures is a major Hollywood film studio. In the 1920s, Universal made a star of Lon Chaney in movies like 1923’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and in later decades released horror movies with characters such as The Mummy and The Wolfman.

-- Universal Pictures tapped a young Steven Spielberg to make 1975’s “Jaws,” and he still has his production company, Amblin Entertainment, on the Universal lot. Other hit Universal titles have included the “Back to the Future” and “Jurassic Park” movies.

-- Universal Studios Hollywood houses attractions such as “Shrek 4-D” and “The Simpsons Ride,” and the theme park’s CityWalk outdoor mall has 65 restaurants, nightclubs and shops.

-- Universal Studios is currently operated by NBC Universal Inc., a media company that is 80 percent owned by U.S.-based General Electric Co. and 20 percent by France’s communications and utility company Vivendi.

Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte

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