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This Week In Chicago Entertainment History: William Selig

Our weekly claim to Hollywood fame  is *William Selig.  This gentleman was a pioneer in film and opened his first studio in Chicago before heading off to Los Angeles like so many often do.  His inspiration for entertainment was sparked after a viewing of Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope in Dallas. A mere two years later in 1896 he founded Selig Polyscope Co. right here in Chicago.

After thirteen years the decision to move to L.A. was imminent and thus the studio made the leap to a warmer climate. The main allure for Los Angeles was the popularity of westerns and producing one in Chicago just wasn’t an option.  Besides westerns Selig also wanted to produce Jungle  pictures and L.A. apparently was full of monkeys, tigers and lions. Oh my! This unrefined version of “The Spoilers” below is a rare find but worth taking a look.

*Susan King for her article in Los Angeles Times.


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