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 soundstages, and inscribed it with his signature and date.
Chaplin filmed several of his great movies at this studio between 1918 and 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's 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 aquired the studio to film a television show for CBS.
In 1961 CBS puchased the studio to shoot the Paisano Production's Perry Mason series. During this time, Raymond Burr lived on the lot. CBS then sold the studio in 1966 to A&M Record Company; Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss moved in on November 6, converting the swimming pool and two of the soundstages to recording studios.
On February 6, 1969, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board designated the studio an historical cultural monument. In 1985, "We Are The World"—a USA for Africa effort for raising money for the hungry in Africa—was recorded.
In November of 1999, the Henson family purchased the property, and after an extensive remodel, the Jim Henson Company made the studio its new home on May 1, 2000.