Sunday, March 08, 2009

film manufacturing in chicago


We interrupt this Wright-o-Rama weekend to bring you a holga shot of the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company in Uptown. According to Wikipedia:

The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company was an American motion picture studio founded on August 10, 1907 in the neighborhood of Uptown, Chicago, Illinois by George K. Spoor and Broncho Billy Anderson under the name Essanay ("S and A"). It is best known today for its series of Charlie Chaplin comedies of 1915.


Apparently Essanay produced 450 films before 1913 -- "at a time when four out of every five U.S. movies were produced in Chicago" [1]. Charlie Chaplin endured Essanay for a year, made them a great deal of money, and then left over disputes regarding creative control. Louella Parsons worked here as a screenwriter before she got into gossip.

Ultimately, Chicago's ass-kicking weather persuaded the Essanay folks to move to California where, over time, film manufacturers became filmmakers.

[1] This is noted with the caveat: "citation needed".



Video: Charlie Chaplin in The Champion

2 comments:

p2wy said...

I used to live right around the corner from there and found it fascinating that (of all places) the North Side was the epicenter of what we now know as Hollywood. I've been shocked by how few Chicagoans are aware of this fact. I used to tell folks all the time about it and would get blank stares.

I miss the neighborhood.

burnett879 said...

I had no idea! And I live literally just a few blocks away from this building.

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