Friday, September 14, 2007

Weekend Fun

We not only get to work in the incredible East Bay, but we also get to live and play here. So, I like to chime in with some fun things to do in the East Bay from time to time. This weekend, lets visit some Hollywood History right here in the East Bay.

Did you know that the silent film industry was based here in Fremont from 1913 to 1916? The area was called Niles back then, though. "Bronco Billy" Anderson and George Spoor, already silent film veterans, came to Niles in 1912 and ended up opening up the Niles Essanay Film Production company. Anywhere from two to five "one-reelers" were shot at the studio and the surrounding neighborhoods each week. In 1914, they even got Charlie Chaplin on a contract. When Chaplin's popularity exploded, the new studios down in Hollywood snapped him up for big money, and by the beginning of 1916, the Niles Essanay studio was shuttered.

But it wasn't shuttered forver! You can still visit the museum, tour the grounds, and watch silent films every weekend. This Saturday night, you can go see Underground, directed by the great Josef von Sternberg and a collection of short films, including Harold Lloyd's I Do. It is such a deal and it only costs 5 buck each. And, what a great trip for kids and grandparents.

The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is located at 37417 Niles Blvd in Fremont. It is a terrific trip back in time. Have a fun weekend!

(photos courtesy of the Niles Essanay Film Museum website)

No comments: