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Movie Studios

Vintage Hollywood Movie Studios-Part 1

AMERICAN FILM MANUFACTURING COMPANY

One of the most active film industry pioneers was Harry Aitken.  He and his brother, Roy, started with a makeshift theater in their barn near Waukesha, Wisconsin.  Soon they left the farm and opened their first theater in Chicago.  The success from the first venture led them to a string of five theaters.

Visit hollywoodphotographs.com to view a large collection of American Film Manufacturing Co. photos

Harry, however, was more interested in supplying other theaters with films.  He met with realtor John Freuler in Milwaukee and, in February 1908, started the . Western Film Exchange, with Aitken as President.  After more than a year of distributing other peoples’ movies,  they decided to to begin producing their own films.  The two met with H & H Film Service owners, Samuel S. Hutchinson and Charles...

Vintage Hollywood Movie Studios

 

EARLY FILM MAKING

Early Movie Studios

Contrary to popular belief, the motion picture industry did not have its roots in Hollywood or even Southern California.  This soon to be “magical” business had its origin in both Chicago and the environs of New York City.  Companies such as Edison, Selig Polyscope, Lubin, Thanhouser, Jesse Lasky Feature Play, Vitagraph, New York Motion Picture Company, Kalem, Essanay, and Biograph all had their headquarters and their first studios “back east.”  Even when these companies first sent production troupes to make movies on the west coast, the negatives were sent back east, by train, to their corporate offices for processing. 

hollywoodphotographs.com has hundreds of vintage Hollywood Movie Studio photos.

Salem Photo...

Hollywood Movie Studio Photos

Many of the first film companies, who settled in Hollywood, congregated near the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Gower St. They were small film making companies, which made one and two reel films, many being westerns. For a number of reasons, including the lack of film distribution, many of these film makers went out of business shortly after arriving in Hollywood. Here is the California Studio on Sunset Blvd. in 1921. From the hollywoodphotographs.com...

Pickford, Fairbanks Goldwyn Studio Photos

HAMPTON, PICKFORD, FAIRBANKS AND GOLDWYN

Jesse Hampton Studios

In 1918, pioneer film producer, Jesse D. Hampton moved from the studio he rented on Fleming Street and built a new facility at Santa Monica Boulevard and Formosa Avenue.  Surrounded by hundreds of vacant acres in South Hollywood, the new studio included two large glass stages, offices and a small outdoor set at the rear of the property.  Employing some of the top stars of the day including, Blanche Sweet, J. Warren Kerrigan, Lois Wilson, H.B. Warner and William Desmond, Hampton produced or directed a couple of dozen films with names such as “The Prodigal Liar” and “The Drifters.” 

Photo of Jesse Hampton Studio

Pickford – Fairbamks Studios

In 1922, after using the facility for three...

Hollywood's earliest Rental Movie Studio

HOLLYWOOD’S EARLIEST RENTAL MOVIE STUDIO

One of the lesser known, but oldest facilities in Hollywood was located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Fleming Street (now Hoover Street). During its almost one hundred year history, the studio was occupied by several small motion picture companies, many of whom were the real pioneers of the film industry.

Lubin Manufacturing Co.

The studio’s history began in 1912 when, just a few months after the Nestor Film Company settled in Hollywood, a group with the Lubin Manufacturing Company established a studio at 1425 North Fleming Street.  Aa member in good standing with the powerful Motion Picture and Patents Company, Lubin began producing films in hopes that the Trust would buy them.  However, Lubin’s days were few.  By June, the plant closed and was in the charge of a caretaker.

Photo of Lubin Manufacturing Film Company...

Hollywood & Metropolitan Studios

THE HOLLYWOOD/METROPOLITAN STUDIOS

Hollywood Studio Corporation

Recognized the increasing demand for modern “rental studios”, Hollywood real estate, and business developer, Charles E. Toberman, incorporated the Hollywood Studios Corporation in 1919.  The stockholders and officers were C.E. Toberman, President; C.W. Bradford, Vice President; John Jasper, Secretary and manager.  After several acres were acquired on the south side of Santa Monica Boulevard, just east of Las Palmas Avenue construction was begun.  As manager of the studio, Jasper oversaw the building of four large stages, dressing rooms, film viewing rooms, prop rooms and offices.  The stages resembled horticulturist hothouses with their steel frames, thick cloth walls, glass roofs and...

More Hollywood Studio Photos

More Hollywood Studio Photos

The hollywoodphotographs.com website has the largest collection of Hollywood Movie Studios. With more than 1500 vintage Hollywood Studio photographs, the hollywoodphotographs website sells both digital and actual images.

Vintage photo of early Hollywood movie studio

Universal Film Manufactirung Co.

Carl Laemmle’s Universal Film Manufacturing Company acquired Hollywood’s Nestor Film Company on the northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and  Gower Street in 1912.  At the same time Universal expanded the studio by leasing the property on the southwest corner of the same intersection.  In 1914, after producing several...

Photos of Early Hollywood Movie Studios

Photos of early Hollywood movie studios can be found on the

hollywoodphotographs.com website.  There are more than 2000 vintage photos of early Hollywood movie studios on the website and all images are available for purchase.

One of the lesser known, but oldest facilities in Hollywood was located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Fleming Street (now Hoover Street). During its almost one hundred year history, the studio was occupied by several small motion picture companies, many of whom were the real pioneers of the film industry.

Vintage photo of of Clune Hollywood Studio

Lubin Manufacturing Company

The studio’s...

Universal Studios Photos and History

Universal Film Manufacturing Company was founded by various independent film companies, IMP (Independent Motion Picture Company)- Laemmle, Champion, NYMPC (New York Motion Picture Company)-Bison, Powers, Centaur-Nestor Film Company, Yankee, Brulator, Éclair and Rex on April 30, 1912. By the summer of 1912 IMP Company founder Carl Laemmle became its president. Laemmle had been in the retail business before he purchased with a partner his first nickelodeon in Chicago Illinois in 1906. By 1908 the Edison backed Motion Picture Trust had taken control of all motion picture rentals, camera and film stock and licensed everything to all film companies interested in the motion picture business. Carl Laemmle formed the IMP (Independent Motion Picture Company) in 1909 and began to make his own films instead of renting them from Trust controlled sources. Laemmle and the other independents revolted against this industry control and a legal battle resulted that lasted for around...

Raleigh Studios Photographs

Raleigh Studios

Raleigh Studios is much more than bit player in the history of Hollywood. Situated at the corner of Van Ness and Melrose, across the street from iconic Paramount Pictures, its pedigree originates at the very founding of the industry.  As the longest continuously operating studio in the country, the Raleigh Studios lot played a central role in creating and supporting the modern entertainment industry. The largest collection of Hollywood Studio photos is on the hollywoodphotographs.com website.

Early Hollywood movie studio

The Beginning

Adolf Zukor founded Famous Players in New York in 1912 in partnership...

Vintage Photos of Universal Studios

Vintage Photos Of Universal Studios

This year marks the 100th birthday of Universal Pictures, and Paramount Pictures celebrates its centennial this year as well. While Universal and Paramount are major Hollywood motion picture studios today, they started in 1912 as independent studios, challenging the monopoly that had a chokehold on the film industry and taking on Thomas Edison. One of the largest collection of Universal Studio photos is on the hollywoodphotographs.com website.

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The Trust

Carl Laemmle was fed up with Thomas Edison and his “Trust”.  The 5-foot-2-inch German immigrant was the little guy in more...

Vintage Movie Studio Photographs

Vintage Hollywood Movie Studio Photographs

For more than 100 years Hollywood has been known as the entertainment capital of the world. Movies, radio, television and legitimate theater make up the various entertainment entities that makes Hollywood so famous. The largest collection of movie studio photos is on the hollywoodphotographs.com website. 

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First Movie Studio

The first film production company to make movies in the Los Angeles area was the Selig Polyscope Company.  In 1909, William Selig opened Los Angeles’ first official movie studio in downtown Los Angeles.  Here he made several films, the first being called, Heart of a Race Tout. Shortly thereafter,...

Motion Picture Industry Comes to California

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First Movie Studios

Almost all of the early film producing companies and the first movie studios were located back east or in the Chicago area. All of the filming was done out of doors because there were no such things as soundstages and movie sets that were enclosed. Of all the early movies, Western seen to be the most popular and these pictures were sweeping across America. The first Westerns were made in the East and were quite profitable. Several filmmakers promptly bought cattle, horses, saddles, lariat's, stagecoaches, and other properties necessary to manufacture the Western melodramas at their movie studios. Movies, especially westerns, were filmed at a brisk pace during the spring summer and fall. Once winter set in, filming slowed to a snail's pace. Seeking locations where the weather would...

The Hollywood and Metropolitan Studio

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The Hollywood Studios

By the 1918, ther were many movie studios in and around Hollywood. Recognized the increasing demand for modern “rental studios”, Hollywood real estate, and business developer, Charles E. Toberman, incorporated the   Corporation in 1919.  The stockholders and officers were C.E. Toberman, President; C.W. Bradford, Vice President; John Jasper, Secretary and manager.  After several acres were acquired on the south side of Santa Monica Boulevard, just east of Las Palmas Avenue construction was begun.  As manager of the studio, Jasper oversaw the building of four large stages, dressing rooms, film viewing rooms, prop rooms and offices.  The stages resembled horticulturist...

Hollywood Movie Studios

Hollywood Movie Studios

Prior to the movie studios settled in Hollywood, movies were made primarily on the East Coast and in Chicago. Many of the East Coast movie studios were located in and around Fort Lee New Jersey. One of the pioneer film companies was the Selig Polyscope Company which had its headquarters in Chicago. Col. William Selig sent a film company to the southwest to film scenes for one of his movies. Director Francis Boggs, a cameraman, and six actors and actresses filmed in Los Angeles and on the beach at Santa Monica, then moved to Colorado. But the weather there proved no more stable than Chicago's, and, in 1909, the Selig Company moved back to Los Angeles.

First Movie Made

Boggs rented a vacant Chinese laundry at the corner of Eighth and Olive and converted the...

Chaplin Studios

Photographs of Chaplin Studios

Charles Spencer Chaplin began his illustrious American movie career in 1914 with the Keystone Film Company in Edendale, California.  After making several films there, he left in 1914 to accept an offer with G.M. Anderson of the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company.  He made his first three films at the Chicago Essanay studio but didn’t like it there.  He moved to Essanay’s studio in Niles, California and stayed for almost three months.  Here he made “A Night Out”, “The Champion”, “In The Park”, “A Jitney Elopement” and “The Tramp.”  He then went to Los Angeles in April to finish out his Essanay contract. The following year, in 1916, Chaplin started his own company by building the Lone Star Studio at Lillian Way and Eleanor Ave in Hollywood.  The small studio consisted of two open-air platform...

More Early Hollywood Movie Studios and Photos

Burns and Revier Studio

For some unexplainable reason, one of Hollywood’s earliest movie makers, Harry M. Revier, has been completely overlooked by most film historians.  L.L. Burns, who later started Western Costume Company, and Harry Revier joined together to form Burns and Revier Studio and Laboratory in 1912.  In early 1913, after vacating their first studio at Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, they leased from Hollywood resident Jacob Stern, some property and a portion of a barn at the southeast corner of Vine Street and Selma Avenue in Hollywood.  The barn was L-shaped, with one of its faded yellow wings facing Vine Street and the other stretched back, parallel with Selma Avenue, into an orange grove.  Adjacent to the east side of the barn, Revier built a 40 x 60 foot wood platform stage and covered it with sheets of muslin to control and diffuse the intense sunlight. Some of the best movie studio photos are on the ...

Hollywood's First Movie Studio Photos

Hollywood’s First Movie Studio Photos

The distinction of having established the first motion picture studio in Hollywood goes to the Nestor Film Company of Bayonne, New Jersey and Staten Island, New York.  The company was started by David Horsley and Charles Gorman in 1907 and was originally called the Cenatur Film Company.  Their first picture was “The Cowboy’s Escapade”, a one reeler released in September, 1908.  They produced a series of short films during the next two years but were frequently harassed by the Trust’s detectives.  Not wishing to continue the challenge, Gorman sold his interest to his partner’s brother, William.  The Brothers reorganized the company and the Nestor Film Company was born. On October 27, 1911, a troupe of forty members of this film company arrived in Los Angeles to produce the “Nestor” brand of films. Photos...

Early Movie Studios

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Early Hollywood Studios

The first studio to arrive in Hollywood was Nestors Film Company, who rented the Blondeau Tavern at Sunset Blvd. & Gower St. in October 1911.  It wasn’t long before there were scores of small motion picture companies moving to Hollywood.  All of the companies migrated from the east coast or around the city of Chicago.  Because this industry was in it’s genesis, all these film companies were very small. Some of these small companies included, among others, the California Film Co., Quality Film Co., and Christie Comedies.  As the industry grew, consolidation began to take place and as it did, many of the small companies were either acquired or went out of business.

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Pictures of Hollywood Movie Studios

                                                                   Pictures of Hollywood Movie Studios

One of the largest collections of Hollywood movie studios pictures is on the hollywoodphotographs.com web site.  Bruce Torrence began collecting old Hollywood photographs in 1970 and then started adding pictures of movie studios, even though many of them were not located in Hollywood.  In the beginning, some of the very early motion picture companies did settle in Hollywood.  Companies such as the Nestors Film Company, Clune Producing Company, and Balshofer Film Company were some of...