DeMille's Studios:
Lasky Feature Play Co.
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Hollywood
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DeMille Studios
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9336 Washington, Culver City
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Paramount Pictures Corp.
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5555 Marathon
Hollywood
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Director of
Hollywood's First Feature Film

Cecil B. DeMille

Cecil B. DeMille
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In 1910 Sam married Blanche Lasky, (who divorced him in 1915). She was a sister of one Jesse Lasky, then a leading producer of vaudeville acts. In 1912, Lasky toyed with the idea of making movies, urged by attorney Arthur Friend.  But the timing was not right. Lasky had just lost $100,000 in a new venture, the Folies-Bergere theater-restaurant in New York. It made him resistant. He wanted to stick to vaudeville.  Friend presented the idea to Goldwyn (still known as Goldfish) but Sam had plans for starting a new glove business.

A year later, though, Goldfish was ready.  He approached Lasky with the idea, who agreed.  But the stipulations were that the company had to bear his name, and he really didn't want to be involved.  Goldfish and Lasky started the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company, but neither knew anything about movie making, and attempts to hire experienced people failed, including the venerable D.W. Griffith.  The so the fledgling company hired struggling playwright Cecil B. DeMille.  Even though DeMille lacked the experience, he showed enthusiasm and was offered a partnership in the new venture.

After a brief stop in Arizona, DeMille led the new company to Hollywood, while Goldfish and Lasky stayed in New York.  DeMille, the newly minted "director-general," produced and directed Hollywood's first feature-length film, The Squaw Man starring stage legend Destin Farnum.

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