Charlie Chaplin began construction of the studio in 1917, and it opened for business on January 21 of the following year. Shortly thereafter, Chaplin made footprint impressions in the hardening concrete of a sidewalk outside one of his sound stages, and inscribed it with his signature and date. That inscription is now located at Red Skelton's home in Palm Springs.
Chaplin filmed several of his great movies at this studio between 1918 through 1952, including such classics as "Gold Rush" in 1925 and "The Great Dictator" in 1939. On occasion, Chaplin also rented his studio out; for example, Greta Garbo shot her final screen test at Chaplin Studios in May of 1949.
Chaplin sold the studio in 1957, and the new owner used the site to film such movies as "Big Combo," "Day of the Outlaw," "Anna Lucasta," and Roger Corman's "Bucket of Blood." Then in 1959, the studio was again sold, this time to Red Skelton under the banner of Skelton and Luftig Productions (or possibly Reddio-Video Enterprises). Skelton acquired the studio to film a television show for CBS.