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entrance detail, Essanay Film Manufacturing Company (1908), 1333-45 West Argyle Street, Uptown, Chicago, Illinois, USA

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posted by Steve Minor alias lumierefl on Sunday 14th of August 2011 11:33:26 PM

originally Peerless Film Manufacturing Company founded 1907 by George K. Spoor and Gilbert M. (Broncho Billy) Anderson (1880-1971) • terra cotta ornamentation designed by Spoor's sister, Mary Louise Spoor (1887-1985), professional book illustrator company produced over 1,400 films during 10 year history including 1st American Sherlock Holmes (1916), 1st American A Christmas Carol (1908), 1st Jesse James movie, The James Boys of Missouri (1908) and early cartoons, e.g., Bray animator Wallace Carlson's popular Dreamy Dud character in He Resolves Not to Smoke (1915) after Essanay collapsed, Spoor developed an unsuccessful 3-D system,1923 and a 65mm widescreen format, Spoor-Berggren Natural Vision, 1930 • as independent producer Anderson produced Stan Laurel silent comedies • Spoor (1948) and Anderson (1958) received Oscars (Academy Honorary Awards) as pioneers of motion picture industry Little Rock AK born Anderson, first cowboy star in cinema history, son of Henry and Esther Aronson, Jewish couple from NY • Anderson moved to NYC at 18, worked in theater and vaudeville, played 3 roles in Edwin S. Porter's landmark 1903 film, The Great Train Robbery Essanay stars included Charlie Chaplin, Ben Turpin, Wallace Beery, Francis X. Bushman, Gloria Swanson, Edna Purviance, Bebe Daniels, Tom Mix and Harold Lloyd • Hollywood director Allan Dwan and gossip columnist Louella Parsons worked for Essanay as writers Essanay hired Chaplin away from Mac Sennett's Keystone Studios, 1914, replacing $150/wk Keystone salary with $1,000/wk • Chaplin made just one film in this building, His New Job (1915) • others, including The Tramp (1915) -- featuring wardrobe purchased off the rack on Chicago's State Street -- shot at/near Essanay-West studio, Niles, California • Chaplin employed by Essanay for about a year Essanay closed Chicago studio, 1917 • building later occupied by corporate film producer Norman Wilding's Wilding Studios • currently home of St. Augustine's College designated Chicago Landmark, 1996 • Wikipediafilmography • history of Essanay Studios -Pyramid BeachNiles Essanay Silent Film MuseumReel ChicagoThe MGM of SilentsEssanay Studios -Diana Dretske • The Secret History of Chicago Movies: Chaplin at Essanay -White City Cinema • Inside Charlie Chaplin's Vault –Chicago Unbelievable

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