Burbank is a city in Los Angeles County in Southern California, United States, 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Billed as the “Media Capital of the World” and only a few miles northeast of Hollywood, numerous media and entertainment companies are headquartered or have significant production facilities in Burbank, including The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment, ABC Studios, Freeform, Marvel Studios, Nickelodeon, NBC, Cartoon Network, and Insomniac Games. The city is also home to Bob Hope Airport. It was the location of Lockheed’s Skunk Works, which produced some of the most secret and technologically advanced airplanes, including the U-2 spy planes that uncovered the Soviet Union missile components in Cuba in October 1962.
Burbank consists of two distinct areas: a downtown/foothill section, in the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains, and the flatland section. Burbank is the easternmost city in the San Fernando Valley. Burbank’s neighbor, Glendale, is the westernmost city in the San Gabriel Valley. The city was referred to as “Beautiful Downtown Burbank” on Laugh-In and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The city was named after David Burbank, a New Hampshire-born dentist and entrepreneur who established a sheep ranch there in 1867.
Magnolia Park, established on Burbank’s western edge in the early 1920s, had 3,500 houses within six years after its creation. When the city refused to pay for a street connecting the subdivision with the Cahuenga Pass, real estate developer and daily farmer Earl L. White did it himself and called it Hollywood Way. White was owner of KELW, the San Fernando Valley’s first commercial radio station, which went on the air February 13, 1927. The 1,000-watt radio station was sold in 1935 to the Hearst newspaper company.
The revitalized downtown Burbank provides an urban mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment. The San Fernando Strip is an exclusive mall designed to be a modern urban village, with apartments above the mall. An upscale shopping district is located in the state-of-the-art Empire Center neighborhood. The Burbank Town Center is a retail complex adjacent to the downtown core that was built in two phases between 1991 and 1992.