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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 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 the pioneers of Hollywood’s film industry.

Then several of the motion picture companies, who migrated from the east coast, began settling in Edendale, which is close to what is now Glendale. The first motion picture company to settle in Edendale was the Selig Polyscope Company. After making the film, The Heart Of A Race Tout”, in downtown Los Angeles, Selig realized that the predictable weather and variety of landscape immediately available, made the Los Angeles area ideal for making motion pictures.  He moved from Chicago and built a permanent studio in Edendale.  Four years later, he built the Selig Zoo, which then became his studio and the location of most of his films.  Glendale Blvd, then known as Allesandro Avenue, ran through the center of Edendale, which became the site of half dozen movie companies located on either side of the street.  Other motion picture companies that established studios in Edendale were Mack Sennett Comedies and William Fox, Pathe and Hal Roach.


Several silent-film stars worked in the Edendale studios, including Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Theda Bara, Tom Mix, Mabel Normand, Fatty Arbuckle, Marie Dressler and Bebe Daniels. Filmed at Mack Sennett Studios were the first film starring Charlie Chaplin, the first feature-length comedy — starring Charlie Chaplin and Mabel Normand — and the Keystone Cops comedies. Hal Roach’s early comedies starring Harold Lloyd were also filmed at a studio in Edendale.  Hundreds of photographs of the Edendale studios can viewed on the web site.

While many film makers were making movies in Hollywood and Edendale, Thomas Ince was making movies at his plant, called Inceville, in the Santa Monica mountains, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. By 1915, Ince was very powerful and one of the best-known producer-directors. It is around this time that Harry Culver noticed him making one of his western at Inceville. Impressed with his talents, Culver convinced Ince to move his "Inceville" Studios from the beach to Culver City. That same year, Ince joined Griffith and Mack Sennett to join the Triangle Film Company.  Shortly thereafter, he built large studios at 10202 W. Washington Blvd. This studio later became Goldywyn Studios, then MGM and today it is Sony Pictures. Ince’s studio, with its Gothic style entrance, was the most modern to date, having four glass and steel stages, new nitrogen lighting and room for hundreds of sets.

By mid-1917, Ince, Griffith and Sennett withdrew from the Triangle Film Company and became independent film makers. Realizing he needed a new studio, Ince again contacted Harry Culver about potential sites. Eventually he purchased fourteen acres at 9336 Washington Blvd., just a mile east of his present studio.

In late 1917, while waiting for his new studio to be built, Ince abandoned his Culver City studio and took up temporary quarters at a studio which had been previously occupied by D.W. Griffith’s Biograph Company.  Shortly after abandoning his first Culver City studio, Triangle leased the plant to Samuel Goldwyn Pictures Corporation.  Later it was sole to Goldwyn. After months of construction, Ince moved into his new studios. Here he continued to make movies until his untimely death in 1924. 

During the teens and early 1920s, hundreds of motion picture companies went into business in California.  In 1313, the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company settled in Niles, California and began making many fine films.  One of their early actors was Charlie Chaplin who went onto an incredible career.  He, later, built his own studio on La Brea Avenue, in Hollywood. Essanay, which was founded by Gilbert “Broncho” Billy Anderson and George K. Spoor made films until 1916, when the studio closed its doors.

Another motion picture company to establish a studio outside of Hollywood was the American Film Manufacturing Company.  They built a beautiful and modern studio in Santa Barbara, California and moved into it in 1913. Here, the continued to make hundreds of films until the studio closed in 1920.

Please visit to see one of the largest collection of motion picture and movie studios.


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