Entertainment + Leisure | 1930 | Silent | B/W
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The story of Fort Lee, the origin home of cinema and motion picture production near New York before the Hollywood studios .
View of the Hudson River with New York. A 1930's car drives along an American town, the road is deserted. Tree tops with some tall buildings visible in the distance. Another 1930's American town with cars driving and others parked, the road has a railway track. Close-up of building, probably studio buildings. Another view of more large buildings. View of Lincoln studio. Another view of a large building, one wall of the building is entirely made of windows. These studios had their greatest prosperity between 1914 and 1919, by 1930's Fort Lee Studios are in ruins. View across the ruined studio buildings. View from an inside of an abandoned studio building, the sun shines through the window. Close-up of broken and ruined windows. View of half built buildings which were abandoned, water loges in the foundation. In 1907 Sidney Alcott from the Kalem Company discovered Fort Lee, a New Wild West in the shadow of New York City. View across a field of vegetation with New York City sky scrapers visible in the distance. A 1930's American town, a man walks past the 'Rancho Dancing' place, two women and a child walk along the road. Alice Joyce and Robert Vigola rode in the Kalem thrillers; during 1908-1912 D.W. Griffith brought for location work his Biography Company, which included Mary Pickford and Arthur Johnson etc. Close-up of the movie poster 'Just From New York' starring Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore, 1912. The first slapstick comedy 'The Curtain Pole' was made in Fort Lee in 1909. View of a 1930's American street with cars parked and one driving, a parked car starts driving, very few people are seen. Early actors dressed and ate at the Rambo's Hotel', the exterior of the Hotel also served as a 'Western saloon' in many a horse opera. View of a large house, probably the old 'Rambo's Hotel'. Close-up view showing details of the large house's windows and porch. View beyond a fence, on the right there is probably an open stable and in the distance a house, a man walks in front of the fence. Another view of the large house. Closer view of the large house's porch veranda, a door is open and a little boy dressed as a cowboy walks out, he is carrying two guns, looks both ways and walks to the middle of the road. This large house is most likely the old 'Rambo's Hotel'. Hammett's Hill was favourite location to stage battle scenes, view of probably Hammett's Hill, two1930's car are parked on the hill. View across the hill top which is quite flat and with a few shrubs. More views of the hill. A man in a dark suit is standing near to some shrubs. Another view of the hill. Frank Redman (property man) set up tents and cabins for the early cowboy and Indian picture. View of a man (probably Frank Redman) standing next to a gate by a road talking and pointing in both directions. In 1909 Mark Dintenfass built the first studio in Fort Lee - 'The Champion', now (1930's) it is a printing shop. View of a building, probably the printing shop, what's left of 'The Champion'. Close view of the 'printing shop'. Broncho Billy Anderson (the first world famous star), had a studio barn at the back of 'Cell's Park Hotel'. View of a large house, probably 'The Cella's Park Hotel', a road lined with trees leads to it, a car is parked outside. View of the back of a large house. A man wearing a dark suit and a white Panama hat is in a garden, he is using a 1909-1910 camera (?). In 1911 the Eclair Company built a branch studio on Linwood Avenue. View of studio buildings, possibly the Eclair Company. A man wearing white trousers and shirt climbs over a fence, a little girl or boy, also in white clothes and a white hat on, passes the man a photographic camera (?). View of abandoned studio buildings, maybe belonging to the Eclair Company. The man and the little girl or boy walk among the ruined buildings. Close-up of broken window frames lying on the ground. View of the grounds full of rubble. Close-up of old film reels with tangled film (silent 35mm). The young girl or boy holds a reel and examines film. View of more abandoned Eclair Company buildings. Close-up of a dressing room door belonging to Evelyn Nesbit. Another view of the man and of the young person walking inside a ruined studio building. In 1914, feature length pictures came and 'The Peerless' later called the World Studio was built by Jules Brulatour. Views of more studio buildings, possibly the World Studio. In these studios, Lewis Selznick and William A. Brady directed, some of the stars were Lillian Russell, Clara Kimball Young, Alice Brady, Kitty Gordon, Madge Evans. Stills of films produced by 'The Peerless' studio: Still of the film 'Wildlife' 1914 starring Lillian Russell. Still of the film 'The Rack' 1915 starring Alice Brady. Still of the film 'The Better Woman' (date?) starring Lowell Sherman and? Ulrie. Still of the film 'Camille' starring Clara Kimball. View of more studio buildings (Peerless studio?), the man is pointing to it while the young person watches. Another view of a ruined studio building. The man wearing white clothes stands inside the abandoned studio, he holds his hat in his hand, the sun comes through the large window. Close-up of a wooden house with the words 'Studio Lunch Room' written on it. More view of the abandoned studio buildings. A series of stills produced by the 'World Studio' follows: Still of the film 'Whims of Society' starring Ethel Clayton. Still of the film 'Masks and Faces' starring Sir Johnson Forbes-Robertson. Another still of the film ? starring Kitty Gordon (?). Still of the film 'The Road to France' (?) starring Evelyn Greeley and ? Blackwell. Another view of the ruined studio building. In 1914 Nessel and Auman built the 'Willat Studio' and it was taken over by William Fox. View of more studio buildings, probably the 'Willat Studio' or 'Fox Studio'. View of abandoned buildings, they still look grand. More views of buildings. A young person looks among the ruins, maybe it is the double stage ruins. Theda Bara, the first vamp, was a big star at the 'Willat' or 'Fox Studio', stills of Theda Bara. Other Fox stars were June Caprice, Willam Farnum, George Walsh and Valeska Surratt. Still of William Farnum. In 1915 paragon built a 200 foot stage, it was the largest and most modern studio in the world, in 1930's used as a Brady's storehouse, view of Brady's storehouse. The man walks along the large glass wall of the old Paragon Studio, he peeps inside. Another view of the large glass walls. In these studios in early 1917 Maurice Tourneur directed 'The Poor Little Rich Girl', one of Mary Pickford's greatest successes. Still of the film 'The Poor Little Rich Girl'. Another still of the same film.
The man wearing white clothes peeps through the glass windows. View of the inside of the abandoned studio - the stage area. More views of the outside of the studio. View of an 'old street' as it was during the time, the studios were working, the young person walks towards the abandoned houses. A got is grassing in a field near the old street. The young person walks on towards the old houses. View of what was probably the old Paragon studio. In 1915 the 'Universal Studio' was built, in 1930's it houses the Laboratory of Consolidated Film Industries Inc. (Consolidated Park). View of the Consolidated Park built in 1924. Close-up of the Plague 'Consolidated Park' - Home of Consolidated Film Industries 1924'. More views of the Consolidated Park buildings. In 1917 at the Universal Studio, Sam Goldwyn produced his first picture - 'Polly of the Circus' starring Mae Marsh. Still of Mae Marsh. Still of Mabel Normand. The Solax Studio was destroyed by fire in early 1920's. View of possibly more studio buildings in ruins. View of possibly the site of the Solax Studio. The Lincoln of Royal Studio played a minor role in the drama of Fort Lee. Views of the Lincoln Studio buildings. View of the Cella's Park Hotel. View of a veranda, possibly the Cella's Park Hotel, with a table and three chairs. A man wearing a dark suit stand outside a doorway talking and pointing his hand in both directions. Herbert Brenon film, some of the scenes for Annette Kellerman's 'Neptune's Daughter' under the Cella's Park Hotel trees, view of the trees. A young boy walks among the trees. Still of the film 'Neptune's Daughter'. War pictures were made on the lot where the high school stands. View possibly of the high school and of a field. A man stands in a field talking to two children and pointing to the distance, a large bridge is seen behind them. View of a large road, lined with trees, cars parked and others on the road, it is possibly Englewood near Fort Lee. View of a church. View of a large abandoned building. View of the Cella's Park Hotel. Another view of the hotel. View of a large building - maybe another part of the Cella's Park Hotel. A lady in dark clothes walks with a child from the garden towards the building. Scenes from a picture seen filmed on location in Englewood. Close-up of possibly Mirriam Batista. Another view of Consolidated Park (ex-Universal Studios), the last films to be made here were 'The Fighting Blade' and 'The Enchanted Cottage' around 1924. Another view of the old studio buildings. View of maybe the 'Sen Jacq Laboratory' which was built by Jules Brulator of the Eastman co. 1921, it was never used. View of the site at which probably the Evan Laboratory lay, it suffered an explosion in 1925. The man wearing white clothes walks among the rubble - what's left of the Evan Laboratory. More views of the rubble. View of yet another studio, possibly the Metropolitan Sound Studios. Close-up of a door with the word 'Metropolitan Studios' written on it. More views of Fort Lee Studios. Views of glass studio wall. View of Fort Lee Studios in the distance. An old man stands next to a street pole or lamp post, he is looking at the almost deserted road. View of a Fort Lee road with houses on both sides, no traffic and only a couple of people walking in the distance. View of abandoned houses. View of a town. Two women walk along a road, clothes hang on a line across the road. Four people are gathered at the back of a 1930's van, the van is full of empty wooden boxes, a young girl carrying a parcel looks at the people. Close-up of an elderly man wearing a cap and glasses, he looks sad. More scenes of ruin and desolation. A goat is grassing in a field near the studios. More scenes of ruin and desolation. A scene showing empty reels and film scattered among the ruins.
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