Manny P. here…
During my third Labor Day visit to CINECON, I made a deal for the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series to be sold at the NILES ESSANAY Silent Film Museum store. This cinematic establishment is located at 37417 Niles Blvd., Fremont, CA.
In a blog on 9/5/11, I posted the Historic Story about this Northern California tourist center:
In 1907, George Spoor, a Chicago film distributor, and Gilbert M. Anderson, an actor and director, formed the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company.
Based in Chicago, on April 1, 1912, Anderson moved the film crew to Northern California. Over the next three years, the Niles Studio produced over 350 films including Broncho Billy Westerns, Snakeville comedies, and contemporary dramas. The equation changed in December, 1914, when Charlie Chaplin was signed by Essanay.
When Chaplin’s contract came up for renewal in December, 1915, Spoor rejected Chaplin’s salary demands – $10, 000 a week plus $150,000 to sign his name on the contract. Chaplin went elsewhere and Anderson was also ready to move on. On February 16, 1916, the Niles Essanay studio shut down. The doors were closed and locked. It was the end of an era.
Although not well known today, the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company was one of the major studios of its day. This museum keeps the spirit of Charlie Chaplin and Broncho Billy Anderson silent films alive.
The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed in 2001 in the Niles District of Fremont, California. We welcome new members and volunteers who wish to support our mission and/or participate in any way. Membership benefits include a quarterly newsletter, discounts at the museum store and discounts for special events.
The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is a resource center for the history of Niles, for the Essanay Film Company, for pioneering film companies of the San Francisco Bay Area and for silent films in general. Reference materials collected through our preservation efforts range from historical data on the houses, commercial buildings and people of Niles to biographical material, documents, memorabilia, photographs and movies made by the Essanay Film Company and other early film producers.
The museum takes an active role in teaching and promoting silent film history in our 1913 nickelodeon-era theater with displays of photographs, posters, cameras and projectors, and by presenting seminars and movies, including the annual Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival in June and our weekly Saturday night programs throughout the year. The museum also works collaboratively with other historical organizations and archives to serve our mutual interests.
For monthly information, please visit their website at:
Until next time> “never forget”