Lookout Mountain Air Force Station
|Part of United States Air Force|
|Los Angeles, California|
|Type||Air Force Station|
|Garrison||1352d Photographic Squadron|
|Events||World War II
Lookout Mountain Air Force Station (LMAFS) is a Formerly Used Defense Site used as a private residence on Wonderland Avenue, Los Angeles, California. The USAF military installation produced motion pictures and still photographs for the United States Department of Defense and Atomic Energy Commission from 1947-1969. In 2011, the property was put up for sale for over $6 million (USD). When it was placed up for sale in 2011, the residence was a 50 thousand square foot, eight bedroom building on a 1.5 acre property.
The 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) facility was built on 2 acres (8,100 m2) in 1941 as a World War II air defense center to coordinate radar installations. The studio was established in 1947 and its purpose kept secret. The studio consisted of a complete stage, 2 screening rooms, a helicopter landing pad, a bomb shelter and 17 climate controlled film vaults as well as two underground parking garages. With the latest equipment the studio could process both 35 mm and 16 mm motion pictures as well as optical prints and still photographs. The nuclear tests at Nevada Test Site were filmed in various formats including CinemaScope, stereophonic sound, VistaVision and 3-D photography.
The studio contained staff from many prominent studios alongside its military staff. Civilian personnel from Warner Brothers, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer and RKO Pictures worked at the studio in functions such as producers, cameramen and directors. W. Donn Hayes (1893–1973), coiner of the American Cinema Editors (ACE) title and past president of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, worked at Lookout Mountain as his last career assignment; he had been in the film and television industries since 1916.
Field staff included photographers who were airmen assigned to the USAF 1352d Photographic Squadron, formed out of the 4881st Motion Picture Squadron in 1952. In the mid-1960s, Michael R. Potochick was the group commander.
Between 1947 and 1969, some of the over sixty five hundred movies made of nuclear explosions were "Produced by United States Air Force Lookout Mountain Laboratory" of the Air Photographic and Charting Service, e.g.;
- A New Look at the H-bomb (H-bomb and Other Smash Hits).[when?]
- Part 1: A New Look at the H-bomb;
- Part 2: Operation Cue;
- Part 3: United States Civil Defense in action;
- Part 4: Let's Face It! (1954; 13 min)
- Part 5: What You Should Know about Biological Warfare  (1952: Produced in cooperation with the Federal Civil Defense Administration). Produced by Reid H. Ray Film Industries, Inc.
- Hollywood's Top Secret Film Studio (Atomic Filmmakers)[when?] (VHS) updated and rereleased on DVD in 1999 as Hollywood's Top Secret Film Studio - The Atomic Filmmakers. Directed by Peter Kuran. DVD includes the documentary Atomic Filmmakers: Behind The Scenes.
- Trinity and Beyond, (1995) documentary directed by Peter Kuran.
- Nukes In Space (1999). The development of the military intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Directed by Peter Kuran.
- Atomic Journeys: Welcome to Ground Zero (1999). A tour of U.S. atomic test sites in Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Mississippi, and Alaska. Directed by Peter Kuran.
- Nuclear Rescue 911: Broken Arrows & Incidents (2001). Documentary directed by Peter Kuran.
- The Center For Land Use Interpretation. Map coordinates of Lookout Mountain.
- US Department of Energy, Nevada Office. The Nevada Test Site's Secret Film Studio: Lookout Mountain (July 2006)
- Connie Tran; Gordon Tokumatsu (1 September 2011). "Mysterious Building in Laurel Canyon Unveiled". KNBC. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- Lauren Beale (28 August 2011). "http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-home-20110828,0,1523444.story". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- "Secret Film Studio: Lookout Mountain". Nevada National Security Site History. NV.DOE.gov. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- IMDb. Biography for W. Donn Hayes
- University of California, Berkeley. Media Resources Center, Moffett Library. Propaganda and Disinformation
- USAF History. 1352nd Sq.
- International Combat Camera Association. ICCA Membership Roster
- California Literary Review. Peter Kuran. Images from How To Photograph An Atomic Bomb
- Philip Bethge (25 November 2010). "Mushroom Clouds and Everpresent Danger: Surviving Cameramen Recall Nuclear Test Shots". Spiefel. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- This short is available as a special feature on the DVD edition of the documentary film Las Vegas: An Unconventional History (2005).
- IMDb. Nukes In Space (1999)
- IMDb. Atomic Journeys: Welcome to Ground Zero (1999)
- IMDb. Nuclear Rescue 911: Broken Arrows & Incidents (2001)