Where movie making finally settled down in L.A.

1845 Allesandro St.

California's first permanent studio

Selig Polyscope

1845-1865 Allesandro St., Edendale, CA
Active 1909-1914

A truly historic event took place on this historic site. Even though a number of productions had been shot or partially shot in Los Angeles and elsewhere, California's first permanent studio began construction at the corner of Allesandro and Clifford in 1908 and production began in 1909.

William Selig was one of the industry's true pioneers. After Thomas Edison, along came Selig. Originally based in Chicago, this vaudevillian showman saw an Edison movie and realized there might be opportunities of his own. After building a sizable studio in Chicago and renting facilities in Jacksonville, Selig moved first to Colorado, then to Edendale, in search of year round sunshine and to avoid the clutches of Edison's detectives, whose mission ws to seek out patent violators and destroy their equipment and businesses.

Selig rented an old shack on this lot and began making movies, building an ever growing production facility.

In 1913 Selig continued his expansion, buying 130 acres in nearby Lincoln Park and began constriction of a huge studio and zoo. In 1915 he moved out and Selig eased this lot to William Fox in 1916.

Fox Film Corp.

1845-1865 Allesandro St., Edendale, CA
Active 1915-1916

When William Selig decided he needed more space and move his studio to Lincoln park, William Fox timed his move to California perfectly to lease Selig's first studio in Edendale.

William Fox, an entrepreneur and businessman decided to expand his theater chain into the production business and set up shop in Fort Lee, NJ, a burgeoning film colony. As more of the business moved to Southern California Fox joined them, abandoning his leased For Lee plant.

As Fox's eminence grew, so did his need for more production space and in 1916 he moved to the much larger Thomas Dixon studio at Sunset and Western, which he quickly expanded. By the time his company merged with 20th Century Films in 1935, William Fox was no longer connected with the company. Like many other of the original Moguls he lost his fortune during the depression. Link to the 20th Century-Fox page for a more complete history.

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Garson Studio

1845-1865 Allesandro St., Edendale, CA
Active 1919-1925

Clara Kimball Young was a very popular actress during he teen and early 20s. A star at Vitagraph Pictures of American, she was on a par with Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, and Mary Miles Minter.

Her weakness was making bad business decisions with whoever was her current lover. After a failed marriage to director James Young, she became involved with early Mogul, Lewis J. Selznicik (father of David O. Selznick). The company based in Fort Lee, left her broke as Selznick took most of the profits for himself.

She then became involved with Harry Garson, who had no experience in the movie business. Nevertheless, he became the owner of Clara Kimball Young Pictures, buying Selig's Edendale studio. Too late she found herself not owning her production company or her studio. The company folded in 1925 and Miss Young's star began to fade.

Marshall Neilan Studio

1845-1865 Allesandro St., Edendale, CA
Active 1925-ca 1930

Marshall Neilan, who want by the nickname Mickey by his friends, was a very popular director for 45 years, Neilan bought the Garson lot in 1925.

Related Pages:

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Other Tenants

1845-1865 Allesandro St., Edendale, CA
Active 1914-ca 1930

Over the years, including Selig and Neilan years, it also served as a rental lot. Tenants included neighbor Mack Sennett and popular comedian Roscoe Arbuckle's Comique Comedies (cs 1919), J. Warren Kerrigan Studios, Hollywood Productions, and Premier Studio and Radiotone (all ca 1931), Western Art, Westwood Productions, Snub Pollard Productions, Equity Pictures, Thomas and Ralph Ince (1925-1926), Marie Prevost (Beggars on Horseback, 1924), Conway Tearle (Michael and His Lost Angel, 1920), Hollywood Studio (1931), Premier Studio (1931), Radiotone (1930-1931), Kendall-De Vally (1932), and Fanchon Royer Prods., as of 1934.

For a short period in 1917, legendary movie mogul Thomas Ince rented the studio, along with 2 others, while his second Culver City studio was under construction.

After abandonment sometime in the 1930s, it lay fallow until 2017 when it, and the neighboring Pathe studio site, was redeveloped into a condo complex. Its streets now bear the names Selig Dr. Polyscope Pl., Edendale Ln., Fox Ln., Tom Mix Rd., and Silent Era Dr.

A Gallery of Photos for 1845 Allesandro St.

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