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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Film Studio

Thomas Edison is credited for building the first film production studio nearby his home and lab in West Orange, New Jersey. Construction was completed on February 1, 1893. It was called Black Maria, or the “Doghouse” by Edison himself.

The Black Maria building was essentially a large wooden shed covered with tar paper, was small enough that it was mounted on circular tracks so it could be turned to accommodate sunlight through an opening in the roof.

Edison's Black Maria Studio


In 1902 White Lodge on Ealing Green in London was brought as a base for film making.Films have been made on the site ever since and Ealing Studios is the oldest continuously working studio facility for film production in the world.

The Babelsberg Studio near Berlin was the first large-scale film studio in the world. It began producing films since 1912 and today covers an area of about 270,000 square feet and thus is Europe's largest film studio.

The first movie studio in the Hollywood area was Nestor Studios. Opened in 1911, it was owned and operated by David Horsley and his brother, William Horsley.

Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith launched United Artists on February 5, 1919.  Each held a 20% stake, with the remaining 20% held by lawyer William Gibbs McAdoo. UA's first film, His Majesty, the American, starring Fairbanks, was released on September 1, 1919.

Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D. W. Griffith in 1919

The British film production and distribution company, The Rank Organisation,  had its origins in 1933 when J. Arthur Rank, a prosperous flour-miller and Methodist with no great interest in cinema, thought of showing religious films at his regular Sunday school lessons. Finding few that were any good, he resolved to try making them himself. By 1942 he found himself heading the largest film combine in Britain.

Comedienne Lucille Ball was the first woman to own her own film studio as the head of Desilu Productions.

Source Encarta Encyclopedia

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