Charlie Chaplin’s Studio: Then And Now

Charlie Chaplin, 1918. Autochrome photograph taken outside his as-yet-unfinished Studio on La Brea Avenue, Hollywood. I live exactly three blocks north from that studio's edge. The red brick of his studio, the deep blue of the sky and the quiet slope of the Hollywood hills remain exactly today as they were then ... oh how cruel time can be.

Every morning I pass Charlie Chaplin’s studio. And I hate myself for letting it have become routine. When I first moved to Hollywood five years ago, it was reverent Holy Ground. And, oh, it still is! When I remember it’s there, that is. Rushing to work with a head full of figures and deadlines succeeded in, momentarily, dulling its wonder.

Well. Penance is being paid for such disrespect.

These Autochrome photographs were taken during the construction of Charlie’s studio empire. The studio is still there, fully functional and quite unchanged these past 85 years since its dedication.

In a city where history is so easily and readily disposable, it is quite a testament indeed that the Tramp has so truly triumphed against time.

Chaplin on his studio backlot, 1918. Deep in production for A DOG'S LIFE .

Charlie on the backlot, in costume for A DOG'S LIFE-- the precursor to his groundbreaking classic THE KID.

Terrific autochorome shot of Charlie out front of the studio steps.

The Jim Henson Company is the reverent tenant occupying the Chaplin Studio today. Pictured here: Their absolutely charming homage: Kermit the Frog as the Little Tramp

The Chaplin Studio-front, 1922

Kermit the Tramp -- the Chaplin Studios today.

Looking north on La Brea Ave, 1918

Looking north on La Brea Avenue... 21st Century.

Charlie had a swimming pool at the north end of his studio. Here he is smiling (far left) while his moviestar best friend Douglas Fairbanks takes a dip. What's depressing about this shot is that the pool is now a parking lot for a Ross Dress for Less.

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Charlie Chaplin's Studio: Then And Now

Charlie Chaplin, 1918. Autochrome photograph taken outside his as-yet-unfinished Studio on La Brea Avenue, Hollywood. I live exactly three blocks north from that studio's edge. The red brick of his studio, the deep blue of the sky and the quiet slope of the Hollywood hills remain exactly today as they were then ... oh how cruel time can be.

Every morning I pass Charlie Chaplin’s studio. And I hate myself for letting it have become routine. When I first moved to Hollywood five years ago, it was reverent Holy Ground. And, oh, it still is! When I remember it’s there, that is. Rushing to work with a head full of figures and deadlines succeeded in, momentarily, dulling its wonder.

Well. Penance is being paid for such disrespect.

These Autochrome photographs were taken during the construction of Charlie’s studio empire. The studio is still there, fully functional and quite unchanged these past 85 years since its dedication.

In a city where history is so easily and readily disposable, it is quite a testament indeed that the Tramp has so truly triumphed against time.

Chaplin on his studio backlot, 1918. Deep in production for A DOG'S LIFE .

Charlie on the backlot, in costume for A DOG'S LIFE-- the precursor to his groundbreaking classic THE KID.

Terrific autochorome shot of Charlie out front of the studio steps.

The Jim Henson Company is the reverent tenant occupying the Chaplin Studio today. Pictured here: Their absolutely charming homage: Kermit the Frog as the Little Tramp

The Chaplin Studio-front, 1922

Kermit the Tramp -- the Chaplin Studios today.

Looking north on La Brea Ave, 1918

Looking north on La Brea Avenue... 21st Century.

Charlie had a swimming pool at the north end of his studio. Here he is smiling (far left) while his moviestar best friend Douglas Fairbanks takes a dip. What's depressing about this shot is that the pool is now a parking lot for a Ross Dress for Less.

.

Call for Entries: The 2012 Laugh and Live Silent Film Festival

Next year, an entirely new kind of silent film festival is coming to Hollywood. The Laugh and Live Film Festival, presented by Los Angeles-based film historian Sparrow Morgan, will be the first festival of its kind: focusing on reviving, not just interest in silent film, but the very medium of silent film itself.

The Pictorial is, quite frankly, STOKED.

Fairbanks at UCLA

Sparrow Morgan is a Los Angeles-based film historian who has founded the festival in honor of Douglas Fairbanks Sr.– a man who was an early champion of the medium of film itself, as a founding member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and a founding faculty member of the UCLA film school. It is a fitting full-circle tribute, naming a festival dedicated to the revitalization of silent film in honor of a man so vital to the medium itself. Morgan is also responsible for founding of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s Fairbanks Memorial: a yearly celebration of silent film and the history of Hollywood, taking place on the Fairbanks Lawn at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, coinciding with the birthday of Douglas Fairbanks Sr, on May 23.

The festival’s first press release was recently released and it is with the highest of excitement that we post it here:

Los Angeles based film historian Sparrow Morgan is proud to
announce The Laugh and Live Festival, the first and only event showcasing contemporary silent films.

Scheduled for May 2012, time, date, and details on speci!c events will be forthcoming.

Founded in honor of Douglas Fairbanks Sr, for whose charming book of advice the festival is named, The Laugh and Live Festival aims to increase the participants’ and audience’s understanding and appreciation of
silent film not only as an historical art form, but challenges them to consider silent film as a viable modern format.

“Interest in silent film has been increasing in recent years, but most of the viewing public still consider it an acquired taste, something one needs a film degree to understand, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” says Morgan. “Silent film, especially the early one-reel nickelodeon serials, were made with the express purpose of entertaining a wide audience. It was all about the action, the drama, and the excitement, not unlike modern day soap operas. The art came later.”

It is in this spirit that The Laugh and Live Festival will be offering a lecture track devoted to the entertainment and enrichment of the general public, as well as workshops and lectures for aspiring filmmakers hosted by historians and filmmakers alike.

The crown jewel of the Laugh and Live Festival will be its screenings of contemporary short-format silent films by student and non-professional filmmakers.