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A movie studio is, in the established sense of the term, a company that distributes films. Literally, however, the term denotes a controlled environment for the making of a motion picture. This environment may be interior (sound stage), exterior (backlot), or both. In general parlance, the term is synonymous with "major film production company," due largely to the fact that the leading production companies of Hollywood's "Golden Age" — stretching from the late 1920s to the late 1940s — owned their own studio facilities, as do a few today. However, worldwide (and even in the United States) the majority of production companies have never owned their own studios, but have had to rent space at independently owned facilities that, in many cases, never produce a film of their own.
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