Silver Screen Artists

Leave it to Beaver: A Look into the "Paramount House", the Cleaver Residence!

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Universal Studios Hollywood - Backlot - Colonial Street -

The Cleaver House

So take a close look...does this house look familiar? It is the famed  "Paramount House" that was originally built for the movie "Desperate Hours" (1955) which was produced by Paramount Studios. In the Desperate Hours this was the exterior facade used. But the history obviously doesn't stop there. We have seen this landmark structure in quite a few productions! Maybe you have noticed it...Let's take a look!

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So we are here to mention Leave it to Beaver, right? Well as we know this surely wasn't the first Cleaver house but it surely became a very recognizable sight! Back when MCA Revue Productions became the new proud owners of the Universal International backlot - the Paramount house became the new home of the Cleavers in season three of "Leave it to Beaver" TV Series. In 1955, the house was located at the intersection between New England Street and Colonial Street of the old River Road, and featured in a number of productions . The Paramount house replaced a house set labeled set #21 seen in movies such as 'Here Come the Nelsons' (1951) and 'Any Body Seen My Gal' (1955). Later on the set was moved to Industrial Street set #1.

 

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Leave it to Beaver

There is always mystery and intrigue when trying to debunk the actualities of our favorite shows over the years...Sometimes we become such a part of the onscreen family that we convince ourselves that these places really "exist"...The show was shot on Stage 17 at Universal between 1959 and 1963 (it's first 2 years from 1957 were at Republic Studios). The former 'Paramount House' became an overnight star and became known as the Cleaver House.

 

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After 'Leave it to Beaver'

So who remembers Marcus Welby, M.D.?? The famed Paramount house later appeared as the home of Marcus Welby in 'Marcus Welby M.D.' (1969 - 1976). Marcus Welby, M.D. was a medical drama television program that aired on ABC from September 1969 to July 1976.  The show starred Robert Young who was a family practitioner with a kind bedside manner and James Brolin portrayded the younger doctorthat he worked with. The show was produced by David Victor and David J. O'Connell. The pilot episode, "A Matter of Humanities", aired as an ABC Movie of the Week on March 26, 1969. Such a classic and another residential fixure for this famous house!

 

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Still the Beaver (1985 - 1989)

When the great 234 episodes of the original run of Leave it to Beaver ended we were all asking for more and needed to know what ever became of our favorite TV family! The show reunited the original (remaining) cast and showed how they "may have" ended up. This installment was in production at Universal between 1985 and 1988. The last season was shot at the still under construction Universal Studios Florida. Then it was time for "The Burbs"! Production on the Tom Hanks comedy 'The 'Burbs' began on Colonial Street at Universal Studios Hollywood in the summer of 1988, which required the removal of the Cleaver house from the street. It's not known if this was the only reason for the Beaver production to move to Florida. Maybe Captain Jack moved to Florida??

 

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Sometimes we forget that the Cleaver family actually lived in two different houses during the course of the shows 1957-63 run. Naturally, this isn't even worth challenging the fans of the show because this surely isn't news. It's funny how we see these Leave it to Beaver "quizzes" popping up online with the simplest of questions! So we often see the question s asked about the different houses. As you guess it, most people are quite privvy to the housing situation!

 

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But in case you missed it... the first two seasons of the show featured the Cleavers living at 485 Maple Drive in the fictional town of Mayfield. Then, during seasons 3 through 6, their new home was at 211 Pine Street, still in Mayfield. In the years since the original show aired, the house at 211 Pine Street has certainly become the house that most people associate with the Cleaver residence!

Both of the Cleaver homes existed as interior sets built on a sound stage and exterior facade sets on a studio backlot street. The Maple Drive house facade was part of a residential set street at the Republic Studios (now CBS Studio Center). Today the former Cleaver house is either gone or altered so much as to be unrecognizable.
The latter Cleaver home was and is of course at Universal City Studios in California.

 

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