Paramount Pictures Corporation, often simply referred to as Paramount, is an American film production and distribution company headquartered in Hollywood, California. It is one of the oldest film studios in existence today, with its origins dating back to 1912 when two American Jewish companies, Famous Players and Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company, were founded. It is currently controlled by Viacom.
In 1914, these two companies began distributing their films through the newly established Paramount Pictures, which quickly became the first successful nationwide distribution company. In 1916, all three companies merged. Over the years, Paramount has produced and distributed thousands of films.
From the 1930s to the 1950s, they also produced short animated films. Today, Paramount is the last major film studio still located in Hollywood itself, occupying its current lot since 1927. The studio is one of the most iconic symbols of Hollywood and a popular tourist attraction.
In 1919, Otto Messmer and Pat Sullivan created Felix the Cat, one of Paramount's early animated characters, in a short film titled "Feline Follies."
Paramount Pictures owns several subsidiary companies that aid in the distribution and accessibility of its films through streaming services. These include Paramount Records, George Pal Productions, Famous Players, Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Players, and MTV Films.
Paramount is also the parent company of Touchstone Pictures, and among the films released under Touchstone, notable titles include "Pretty Woman" and "Romeo + Juliet." During the same period, Paramount acquired Miramax Films, founded by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, and currently holds the rights to films such as "The Others," "Cold Mountain," and more. In the mid-2000s, Paramount ventured into the children's animation market and established Paramount Animation.
Paramount Pictures has played a significant role in shaping the history of American cinema and continues to be a major player in the entertainment industry.