Pathé Studio

Jersey City's Movie Legacy

Pathé Studio

1 Congress St., Jersey City, NJ
Active 1910-1917

The second American location of the pioneering French movie company, Société Pathé Frères.

After a fire burned down their New York studio, they built this facility in ca 1910. That same year they built a west coast studio, and later would buy some significant real estate (RKO in Culver City) for movie production and distribution.

The official address of the studio was 1 Congress. It was bound by Patterson Plank Rd. on the east, Congress St. on the north, and Ogden Ave. on the west.

In ca 1912 Pathé shot their most famous serial, "The Perils of Pauline" at the studio, and on the cliffs of the Palisades. Each episode ended with Pauline's life threatened, many time hanging off a cliff, from which she would be rescued in the next episode. This is the genesis of the term "cliffhanger" to describe how one episode or season ends with a tension that is resolved with the next episode or season opener.

Once Pathé abandoned the site in 1916, it was the first studio location of Astra Film Corp until 1921, when it moved to Verdugo Road in Glendale, CA.

This location was sold in 1932 to Consolidated Film Industries, the country's largest motion picture processing lab at the time, who bought several properties here in New Jersey, and owned several properties in Hollywood, including Republic Pictures in Studio City.

The Pathé building still stands today, though it looks nothing like it did in the day.

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