Paramount Pictures was founded initially as the Famous Players Film Company by Adolph Zuker and the Frohman brothers, Daniel and Charles in May, 1912. They founded the company on Zuker's realization that movies appealed to a working class audience.
Technically speaking, Paramount Pictures is actually the oldest Hollywood movie studio. Universal, which was also started in 1912, was founded approximately one month after Paramount.
Paramount was initially just a start up distibution company started by W.W. Hodkinson when Zuker and the Frohman Brothers used it for national distribution of their films. Another produer, Jesse Lasky, also soon saw the value of the Paramount disttibution and used it for his Lasky Feature Film Play company pictures as well.
Interesing side note, Cecile B. DeMille was hired on as one of the first stage directors for the Lasky company.
In 1916, realizing that a three way partnership between Famous Players, the Lasky Company and Paramount would greatly benefit all of them, the Paramount corporation was officially born.
Interesting side note is that not until 1936, was the company known as Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Company Assets and Entertainment Brands:
Paramount has been bought and sold a number of times over it's history and it has acquired a number of smaller production companies itself. It is currently owned by Sumner Redstone's media conglomerate, Viacom.
- Film Production: Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks (although they are headed back to Universal),
- TV Production: The CW (co-owned with Time Warner), Paramount Television
- Other Related Brands: Paramount Home Entertainment
Viacom CEO: Sumner Redstone
CEO & Chairman: Brad Grey
CEO & President Paramount Home Entertainment: Kelley Avery
President Paramount Studio Group: Randall Baumberger