Chapter

The Movies

in Los Angeles in the 1930s

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268838
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948860 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520268838.003.0006
The Movies

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This chapter describes the history of the movie industry in Los Angeles. California had been claimed by the movies in the autumn of 1908 when Francis Boggs, star of the stage melodrama, Why Girls Leave Home, came to Los Angeles to direct the final scenes of a single-reeler, The Count of Monte Cristo, which was begun in Chicago by William N. Selig, one of the earliest commercial movie makers. Boggs and his cameraman, Thomas Persons, finished the film at Laguna Beach with a cast that appeared to be totally different from the one that had appeared in the opening scenes. Months later they built the first motion-picture studio in Los Angeles, a lean-to of frail boards and canvas sets on a lot behind a Chinese laundry on Olive Street near Seventh. The years 1912 to 1920 brought few radical changes in mechanical methods of movie making but war, ending the competition of European film companies, left the huge and growing world market to American producers.

Keywords: Los Angeles; movie industry; movie making; William N. Selig; Francis Boggs

Chapter.  11814 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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