Named for Dr. David Burbank, a New Hampshire dentist who relocated to Southern California in 1867, Burbank is a thriving city – maybe best known as the home of the NBC Tonight Show, from “beautiful downtown Burbank.”
’s past and present is linked to aviation and entertainment. Both industries came to Burbank because of its location.
Aviation in the mid-1920's was still in its infancy when the Lockheed Aircraft Company purchased a piece of Burbank farmland, and built a plant for the production of its planes. By the time the United States entered World War II, Lockheed had some 94,000 employees producing 19,000 planes. Burbank's prominence in the aviation field was evident during the War when Lockheed's Burbank-built planes helped win the Battle of Britain. The wartime effort of the aviation industry had pushed Burbank's population to 53,899 in 1943. The Bob Hope Airport, located in Burbank, maintains Burbank’s vital link to the aviation industry.
The motion picture business also moved to Burbank in the 1920's. First National Pictures bought a 78-acre site on Olive Avenue near Dark Canyon. The company was soon taken over by another young company founded by four brothers by the name of Warner. On October 23, 1927, motion picture history was made when Warner Bros. Studios released the first all-talking movie, The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson.
Other companies soon followed. Columbia Pictures purchased property in Burbank as a ranch facility, using it primarily for outdoor shooting. Walt Disney's company, which had outgrown its Hollywood quarters, bought 51 acres in Burbank, and Disney Studios was born in Burbank in 1939 on Buena Vista Street. Joining these prestigious studios, Nickelodeon recently opened its doors in Burbank.
Today, with a population of 100,316, Burbank is a prominent media and entertainment-oriented city which prides itself on a high quality of life, combining 21st century technology with a small-town feel. It is, indeed, a city of "people, pride, and progress."