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The California Motion Picture Company

February 15, 2011

100 years ago today, a new film production company released its very first film. The Moving Picture World ran the following article in on Jan 21, 1911

Another Producing Company —

The California Motion Picture Company will soon enter into active competition with other producers. Their first release, an Industrial, is scheduled for February 15th. It is the intention of the company to specialize on good, clean comedy subjects. Mr. P. L. Howland, the president of the corporation, is now in Oakland, but will soon return. No arrangements have yet been made to market the films. The company has established an office in room 601 Delta Building, Los Angeles. The studio and factory is at Long Beach.

– Richard V. Spencer “Los Angeles Letter” MOVING PICTURE WORLD 8, no. 3 (21 February 1911): 137.

A follow-up article the next week gives us more of a hint as to the subject matter of this “Industrial” – it may have been a film sponsored by the Long Beach Board of Fire Commissioners.

Mr. P. L. Howland, President of the California Motion Picture Company, has recently returned from San Francisco, where he had gone to purchase apparatus and supplies. A carload of supplies are expected on January 15th, on which date the company expects to begin daily work on their pictures. Recently, upon the authority of the Long Beach Board of Fire Commissioners, the entire apparatus at fire headquarters No. 1 was taken out and runs were made on Pine and Ocean Avenues, the runs being so realistic that many citizens began to look for the fire. Pictures were taken of the firemen in action, representing the men responding to alarms, hurriedly dressing, sliding down the poles, hitching the harness, etc. When the film is finished it will receive a private hearing before the city officials and newspaper men. At this date it is not known whether the pictures will he marketed through the Sales Company, or marketed independently. A company of professional actors and actresses have been chosen, and they will soon be put to work interpreting comedy, which the company intends to specialize upon.

– Richard V. Spencer “Notes from Los Angeles” MOVING PICTURE WORLD 8, no. 4 (28 January 1911): 199.

Here’s a picture of the Delta Building, where the production offices were located. I have no idea if the building still exists. I encourage my readers to send me a photo and I’ll post it. And any information you may have on the film in question.


THE AMERICAN GLOBE 7, No. 2, (January 1910): 3.

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