Will the homeless crisis drive a legendary Hollywood recording studio out of business?

Sophie Flay Image
Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Homeless encampments surround iconic Hollywood recording studio
Some of the most famous musicians have recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, but studio executives say an uptick in homelessness in the area may put them out of business.

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Sunset Sound, the famous recording studio in Hollywood, was burglarized Sunday, and this isn't the only issue they've been dealing with recently.

The studio says the main issues stem from the homeless community around the building.

"We've been here 64 years. We've made some of the most iconic records that have been done in the industry here," Sunset Sound president Paul Camarata said. "And now we've got to deal with this homeless problem that is potentially putting us out of business."

The owners said recording artists are reluctant to work with the famous studio.

"Taylor Swift was down here, and she made the mistake of going out on the sidewalk and going to the 7-Eleven across the street - got accosted, came back to my tenant and told him 'I will never come back to Sunset Sound again,'" Camarata said. "This is really bad for business."

In the last year, the building has been set on fire twice.

"Right out front needles being laid in plain sight, people using the bathroom anywhere they need to, destroying property," the studio's marketing producer Drew Dempsey said.

During Sunday's burglary, thieves broke in and stole the studio's blank checks. Studio manager Josh Lawrence said they've had to cancel those accounts.

"There's clients that have been coming here for, you know 40, 50 years, and they've been in Hollywood, and a lot of them are really upset to see how the situation has just gotten worse and worse and worse," Lawrence said.

There are roughly 3,000 people experiencing homelessness in the district, and there are just 400 shelter beds.

L.A. City Councilman Hugo Soto-Martinez declined an on-camera interview, but a spokesperson for his office says they are monitoring the situation and working with outreach teams.