Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. (commonly known as Columbia Pictures) is an American film studio and production and distribution company that is a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a division of Sony Entertainment's Sony Pictures Entertainment, itself a subsidiary of the Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony.
What would eventually become Columbia Pictures was founded as the Cohn-Brandt-Cohn (CBC) Film Sales Corporation on June 19, 1918 by brothers Jack and Harry Cohn and their business partner, Joe Brandt. It adopted the Columbia Pictures name in 1924, went public two years later, and eventually began to use the image of Columbia, the female personification of the United States, as its logo.
In its early years, Columbia was a minor player in Hollywood, but began to grow in the late 1920s, spurred by a successful association with director Frank Capra. With Capra and others, Columbia became one of the primary homes of the screwball comedy. In the 1930s, Columbia's major contract stars were Jean Arthur and Cary Grant. In the 1940s, Rita Hayworth became the studio's premier star and propelled their fortunes into the late 1950s. Rosalind Russell, Glenn Ford, and William Holden also became major stars at the studio.
It is one of the leading film studios in the world and is a member of the "Big Five" major American film studios. Columbia was one of the so-called "Little Three" among the eight major film studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. Today, it has become the world's fourth largest major film studio.
The company was primarily responsible for distributing Disney Animation's Silly Symphony film series as well as the Mickey Mouse cartoon series from 1929 to 1932. The studio is headquartered at the Irving Thalberg Building on the former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (later renamed as Lorimar Studios now the Sony Pictures Studios) lot in Culver City, California since 1990.