Selig Polyscope Company, the first permanent studio in LA, is established in the historic Edendale District. Hundreds of movies are filmed until its demise in 1918. Only a handful survive.
Townsmen vote Hollywood into the City of Los Angeles in order to get running water. “Hollywood Boulevard” replaces “Prospect Avenue.”
D.W. Griffith decides to direct the first film shot in Hollywood, “In Old California,” in Hollywood because of the friendly small-town population and the beautiful location.
The first motion picture studio in Hollywood was built by the Nestor Motion Picture Company on Sunset and Gower corner. Nestor Studios merged one year later with Universal Film Company.
Thomas Lincoln Tally shows the first color movie at the Electric Theater in Hollywood.
Universal Studios founded. Mack Sennett opens the Keystone Film Co.
Hobart Bosworth, a silent screen actor from Ohio, started a production company in Los Angeles in order to make Jack London stories into films. Jack London even cameod as a sailor in the first picture, “The Sea Wolf” (1913). Bosworth finished building the Occidental Studios lot in July.
Charlie Chaplin makes his first movie, “Making a Living,” filmed on 35 mm in Los Angeles under the auspicous banner of the Keystone Pictures Studio, syndicate of the famous Keystone Cops.
Mack Sennett makes the first feature-length comedy, "Tillie's Punctured Romance," starring Charlie Chaplin.
First Feature film in Hollywood is also Cecil B DeMille’s first production, “The Squaw Man,” and the first production of brothers in law Sam Goldwyn and Jesse Lasky who together founded the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company. The success of “The Squaw Man” led to a merger with Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players and started the Famous Players-Lasky studio, the fore-runner of Paramount.
Mary Pickford, aka. Gladys Louise Smith, signs a deal for $104,000 a year.
William Fox starts the Fox Film Foundation with studios built in New Jersey and Hollywood.
D.W. Griffith's "Birth of a Nation" is released. Hailed as the most important film of all time for American movie history for introducing story flashbacks, dramatic close-ups, cross-cutting.
Paramount is created when Jesse L. Lasky Co. merges with Adolph Zukor's Famous Players Film Co.
At the age of 26, Charlie Chaplin signs a deal with Mutual Film Corporation for a record $675,000 a year.
Famous Players-Lasky absorbs the original companies at Occidental Studios, which continues to house Cecil B. DeMille’s own production company, Artcraft.
The Charlie Chaplin Studios are completed and are still standing today on the corner of La Brea and Sunset.
Mary Pickford moves to California in order to make Cecil B. DeMille & Jack London’s “Romance of the Redwoods,” for which she was paid $96,666.67 out of the $135,000 budget. Mary Pickford shoots here at Occidental Studios.
Four brothers, formerly soap salesmen in Ohio, open the Waner Brothers Studio.
Sid Grauman, “Hollywood's Master Showman”, opens one of the first movie palaces in America, the Million Dollar Theater, with "The Silent Man." The building still stands at Broadway and 3rd.
Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffith, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford band together under the banner of United Artists, an Idependent film studio.
Actress Virginia Rappe dies from a sexually related assault at a San Francisco party, ending comedian “Fatty”Arbuckle’s career and triggering Will Hays to form a national PR campaign and later to adopt his production code of ethics/censorship.
Working on the lot at Occidental Studios, then Famous Players-Lasky (Paramount Pictures), Film Director William Desmond Taylor, is found murdered at his home bungalow just a few blocks away from his studio office. The crime is never solved.
Rin Tin Tin, a german shepherd trained by an American coporal in France during World War I, appears for the first time. Later he made 26 movies with Warner Brothers and was famed for saving the studio with his box-office success.
To publicize a new housing development, a sign is erected for Hollywoodland. The -land was taken off in 1949.
Louis B. Mayer heads the new MGM Studios, a conglomeration of three studios: Metro Pictures (founded 1916), Goldwyn Pictures (founded 1917), and the Louis B. Mayer Co. (founded 1918), all owned by Marcus Loew.
The CBC, Cohn-Brandt-Cohn Film Sales, founded in 1919, reorganizes to form Columbia pictures.
Masquers Club, the fore-runner of SAG, is founded in Hollywood by a number of actors unhappy about Hollywood Studio contracts.
Sid Grauman opens his Chinese Theater for a total cost of 2 million dollars. The premiere of Cecil B DeMille’s “The King of Kings” was so well attended it caused riots.
Al Jolson stars in “The Jazz Singer,” the first feature length talkie, which received an Oscar Nomination for best writing, adaptation.
Mickey Mouse debuted in the first synchronized sound cartoon “Steamboat Willie” by the Disney Brothers Production Company. The cartoon was drawn and filmed in their garage in Los Feliz.
The first Oscar Awards Ceremony is held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, across from the Chinese Theater, by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Warner Brothers relase, ”On With the Show,” is the first all-talkie color feature.
The Hays Production Code, written by a Roman Catholic priest named Father Lord, is adopted by Will Hays. Scenes of childbirth, among other things, are forbidden.
“Greta Garbo Speaks!” advertises her first talkie, “Anna Christie.”
Aspiring actress Peg Entwistle commits suicide by jumping off the “H” from the Hollywood sign.
Variety, established to cover vaudeville in 1905, opens a branch in Los Angeles.
The Screen Actors Guild is organized by 21 actors, including Boris Karloff, who complained of the treatment under his last picture, Frankenstein.
The Writers Guild of America is formed from the Screen Writers Guild, formerly a social club, when the film industry tried to insitute a paycut.
RKO’s “Becky Sharp” is the first feature film shot using the new Three-Strip Technicolor process. Later on, “The Wizard of Oz” would use the same filming technique.
The Screen Director’s Guild, the predecessor of the DGA, is founded by thirteen Hollywood Directors.
Disney releases “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” – the first animated feature – using the new Three-Strip Technicolor process.
The California Child Actor’s Bill, aka. The Coogan Act, is passed in reaction to million dollar child star Jackie Coogan’s infamous legal trial in which his parents refused to give him any of his prior earnings. Later Jackie Coogan becomes known for his role as Uncle Fester on The Adams Family.
Famed as the “Greatest Year in Film History” for such movies as “Gone with the Wind,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Women,” "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Ninotchka,” “Gunga Din,” “Beau Geste,” “The Little Princess,” “Love Affair,” etc.
Bugs Bunny’s first tiff with Elmer Fudd in “A Wild Hare’ prompts him to say “What’s up, Doc?”
Greta Garbo retires at age 36 in order to preserve her mystique. Ironically more than half of her films no longer exist.
The first commercial (aka. sponsored) television broadcast is held by ten stations who received licenses from the FCC.
Orson Welles, at age 25, writes, produces, stars and directs in “Citizen Kane” recieving nine Oscar nominations and one win.
Orson Welles in 1937 photograph by Carl Van Vechten.
10,500 set decorators went on strike after negotiations for a new union were stagnated by the producers at Warner Brothers. October 5, 1945, is dubbed Hollywood Black Friday for the riot.
Jimmy Stewart returns to the US after WWII and decides not to renew his studio contract with MGM and hires an agent instead. His first independent picture, “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) guarantees his independent status.
“Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" becomes the most infamous question in hollywood history. The “Hollywood Ten” are jailed for six months for contempt by Congress and remain black-listed until the sixties because they refused to answer.
DW Griffith, principal director of the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company,
dies of a stroke at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Hollywood.
RCA Records unveils the new 45-rpm record, allowing less than four minutes for recording.
Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini, both previously married, conceive a son, shocking society so much that she is denounced by the US Senate as a “perosona non grata,” and is forced to seek exile in Italy.
First commercial color tv program airs. Hollywood responds to decreasing film sales with color and wide-screen presentations.
House Committee on Un-American Activities resumes its hearings, blackballing more than 200 film technicians and stars for fear of communist tendencies.
The first Academy Awards air on television by NBC.
WGA split east and west in order to service their members with the new influx of television writing.
Dorothy Dandridge, star of “Carmen Jones,” is the first African American to be nominated for an Oscar and the African American woman to star on the cover of Life Magazine.
James Dean dies in a car accident.
“Howard Frank Archives" be cited as the source of the image
“Blackboard Jungle” is released as one of the first movies depicting kids as juveniles.
"Rock Around the Clock” becomes the first rock n roll musical.
Joanne Woodward becomes the first actress to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Screen Director’s Guild and the Radio and Television Directors Guild merge and form today’s Director’s Guild of America (DGA).
Regular in-flight movies begin with a TWA flight between NY and LA who showed “Love Possessed,” starring Lana Turner.
Marilyn Monroe commits suicide. MCA (Music corporation of America) purchases Universal Studios.
Elizabeth Taylor’s “Cleopatra” bombs at the box office leaving an 18 million dollar deficit.
The Cinerama Dome in Seattle opens as the world’s largest screen at 90 feet wide by 30 feet high.
“The Sound of Music” replaces “Gone with the Wind” as the number one box office hit of all time.
The Hays Code is back burnered with the advent of the MPAA Film Rating System.
Clint Eastwood becomes the Man With No Name, one of the first anti-heroes, in “A Fistfull of Dollars.”
BY MARTIN KRAFT
Kirk Kerkorian buys MGM, marking the end of the company’s production era.
"Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song!" is reported to be first Blaxploitation film – black actors starring for the purpose of showing black music for the profit (exploitation) of others.
Marlon Brando sends Indian-rights activist Sacheen Littlefeather to refuse his oscar for “The Godfather” in protest of American Indian mis-treatment by Hollywood and the government.
George Lucas makes history by signing a deal with Fox for 40% of the merchandising rights on a little picture known as “Star Wars.”
Z Channel launches in Los Angeles as one of the first paid programming, i.e., cable, channels. It popularized letter box editions, independent and foreign films, as well as the director’s cut.
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" becomes the first film to win best picture, best director, best screenplay, best actor and best actress Oscars, replacing "It Happened One Night" (1934).
Star Wars debuts to gross 200 million dollars and invents the blockbuster season.
Roman Polanski is exiled to France in order to escape incarceration for a guilty rape verdict.
Image provided by Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary
The Weinstein brothers start Miramax Film Corp. as an independent film company in Buffalo, N.Y.
Ronald Reagan, who began as a radio actor and went on to gross several million in box office sales, is elected President of the United States.
Sherry Lansing, at the age of 35, becomes the first female to head a major studio at 20th Century Fox.
“Heaven’s Gate,” director Michael Cimino (“Deer Hunter,” 1978), single-handedly ruins United Artists, who survives only through a buyout from MGM. Oddly enough Z Channel uses this movie to establish the director’s cut by realeasing all 219 minutes of the original version.
MTV opens its doors, 24 hours a day, by playing non-stop music videos.
Katharine Hepburn holds the record for four acting Oscars from her performance as Ethel Thayer in "On Golden Pond."
The CD debuts in the American market replacing the BBC’s Digital Delay, the first digital audio device.
The Betamax Decision, ruled by the Supreme Court, allowed home use of the video-tape machine on the basis that it did not violate copyright law because the material was not used for a “commercial or profit-making purpose.”
The Sundance Institute takes over the U.S. Film Festival in Utah and Robert Redford at its head creates the most influential festival for independent film in the United States.
Rock Hudson is famed for “giving AIDS a face” when he dies of AIDS at age 59 in Beverly Hills.
Ted Turner buys the MGM movie library for 1 billion dollars and begins to colorize classic black and white movies and air them on his cable network.
Salah Malkawi/Stringer Getty Images
The Writers Guild of America strikes for a total of 22 weeks, virtually shutting down television production and birthing reality (un-scripted) television.
Sony Corp. buys Columbia Tri-Star off of coca-cola for $3.4 billions. Warner Communications and Time Inc. merge.
The Internet Movie Database is made up of several independent movie lists created prior to the world wide web.
Heidi Fleiss becomes infamous as the Hollywood Madam and spends time in prison for tax evasion, money laundering and attempted pandering. In 2004 she sold her life story to Paramount for $5 million.
DreamWorks SKG is formed by former Disney head Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, and record mogul David Geffen, marking the first creation of a major film studio in half a century.
by John Mueller
The Birth of TCM (Turner Classic Movies) a network featuring commercial-free classic films 24 hours a day.
Pixar is founded by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
“Titanic” beomes the most expensive film ever made at 200 million dollars and recieves 14 Oscar Nominations and 11 wins.
BY flickr user: STEEPWAYS- photographer
The American Film Institute announces the Top 100 American Films of All Time in order to honor the film centennial. "Citizen Kane," “Casablanca,” and “The Godfather”
TiVo is invented, allowing home viewers to pause or rewind live TV.
African Americans sweep the best actor and best actress Academy Awards with Denzel Washington for "Training Day" and Halle Berry for "Monster's Ball."
Austrian movie actor Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes governor of California.
Michael Eisner is ousted from CEO at Disney by his former number two, Robert Iger. Iger disbands the company's infamously bureaucratic Strategic Planning division.
Walt Disney Co. buys Pixar for $7.4 billion, making the former CEO of Pixar and the current CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, the largest shareholder at Disney.
Hollywood Film Office opens its doors.