This Week In Chicago Entertainment History we salute Essanay Studios 1908-15

With FonduTV taking up its roots in Chicago and the Oprah Winfrey show coming to an end we have to wonder why Chicago time and again strays from its Hollywood roots. At the risk of offending our LA counterparts the nasty weather of Chicago is what keeps the mean people away. We shouldn’t have to leave this hip, edgy and urban city with all its wonders to make films. We need to resist the urge for the glitter and glam of Hollywood so we can set up shop here to make our own imprint on this fine city.

In a remarkable and very short time in Chicago history Essanay Studios was known for producing 2,000 shorts and features of which only 250 remain today. Maybe the allure of warm weather is what essentially encouraged Essanay graduate Charlie Chaplan to high tail it to California like everyone else. In a tough industry based solely in California the prospect that others will support our dream to bring an uprise to the film industry in Chicago seems far out of our reach. George K. Spoor and Gilbert M. Anderson were pioneers of motion picture studios in America. Now it is our turn to make our mark.

Special thanks to Chicagoist for bringing this history to our attention.

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2 Responses

  1. Go get ’em FonduTV!

  2. Thanks FonduTV! We love Chicago film history.

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