Tom MIx's Personal Studio
Tom Mix and Tony the Wonder Horse
SilverLake Ave. and Glendale Blvd., Silverlake, CA
Before there was John Wayne...before Roy Rogers or Gene Autry..before William S. Hart...even before Clint Eastwood or Sam Elliott or "Hoss"...there was Tom Mix, the original cowboy star.
Mix dressed like a "dandy" with a huge Stetson cowboy hat, fancy studded cloths, a fancy car and a big horse named Tony. At first blush you would have thought he was just a fancy movie cowboy, no more than a poser. Not so.
Many a cowboy challenged Mix to a quick draw, fist fight, roping, horsing. They discovered what his friends already knew, Mix was a real cowboy...more cowboy than most others. No one ever beat Tom Mix.
He was also a heck of a nice guy.
Tom Mix, a veteran of the rodeo circuit and the traveling buffalo shows, decided he wanted to be in movies. In 1909 he got a contract with Selig-Polyscope in Edendale where he was an extra and character actor. Discovering that Mix had true star power, William Selig signed Mix to a star's contract and in 1914 leased a 10.5 acre tract just north of the the Selig lot that Mix dubbed "Mixville" (though Selig called it Selig Ranch).
Mixville was a full backlot, one of the largest of the time. It had a complete western town with a saloon, jail, bank, doctor's office, surveyor's office, and many other buildings. It also had an in Indian village, a simulated desert and large outdoor shooting stages. It even had a miniature mountain range that, when viewed on screen looked "ferociously convincing." A complete movie studio and backlot.
When Selig moved on to open his zoo and William Fox leased the Selig lot, Fox picked up Mix's contract and the lease on Mixville (which Fox called Fox Ranch). Even after Fox abandoned the Selig-Polyscope studio on Allesandro and built a larger, new studio in Hollywood, Mix continued to use his Mixville for shooting his movies. He shot well over 100 movies here between 1914 and 1925. He even bought the southern most 4.5 acres of the lot.
Tom Mix was an active cowboy movie star all through the silent era and made 6 "talkies" before retiring in 1935.
Mixville was torn down in about 1925 and an Auto Court (motel) put in its place.
Tom Mix Lobby Cards
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