Founded in 1912 by Carl Laemmle, it is one of the oldest American movie studios still in continuous production. On May 11, 2004, the controlling stake in the company was sold by Vivendi Universal to General Electric, parent of NBC. The resulting media super-conglomerate was renamed NBC Universal, while Universal Studios Inc. remained the name of the production subsidiary. In addition to owning a sizable film library spanning the earliest decades of cinema to more contemporary works, it also owns a sizable collection of TV shows through its subsidiary NBC Universal Television Distribution. It also acquired rights to several prominent filmmakers' works originally released by other studios through its subsidiaries over the years.
Its production studios are at 100 Universal City Plaza Drive in Universal City, California. Distribution and other corporate offices are in New York City. Universal Pictures is the second-longest-lived Hollywood studio; Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures is the oldest by a month.