Hollywood's First Movie

Historic film about Latinos finally recognized

By Frank Marks
Published on LatinoLA: April 21, 2003

Hollywood's First Movie

The American Mutoscope and Biograph Company is the oldest movie company in America, is announcing a monument to be placed on Hollywood Boulevard to commemorate the 93rd anniversary of the making of the first movie in Hollywood, "In Old California", which has an Hispanic theme.

It was made in 1910 by Biograph three years prior to the movie the "Squaw Man" made by Cecil B. DeMille. The film is significant because of it being Hollywood?s first film, and the subject matter is about the Hispanic settlers in California. The monument is scheduled to be placed on Hollywood Boulevard in 2003. Following the monument dedication will be a gala event and screening of the film will take place. This is the first time the film has been seen by the public since 1910.

It is a drama of Mexico-owned California, and an insight into the life and times of the history of Mexico and Mexican Americans in California. Since this was the subject matter chosen for the first movie in Hollywood, it also shows the importance Mexican-Americans played in Hollywood and the movie industry.

The film was directed by movie pioneer D. W. Griffith, who was location scouting from New York for Biograph. He discovered this lovely village with beautiful scenery, flower gardens and friendly people, and decided to film many of Biograph?s films there.

The film once thought lost is in its restoration. It was discovered a few years ago and is undergoing digital remastering.

Biograph?s CEO Thomas Bond II says "It is sad that this film has not been recognized, but we are happy it will be now. This an exciting historic event that will again perpetuate the history of Hollywood and bring awarness to the importance of Hispanic contribution to the beginninbg of Hollywood".

Along with this, Biograph is establishing its permanent corporate headquarters and future studios in Hollywood because of the new revitalization there.

Bond adds ?We are very proud of the incredible history of Hollywood, and this is where we belong?.

About Frank Marks:
Frank Marks is Vice President of Publicity at the American Mutoscope and Biograph Co.

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