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VitagraphAmerica's First Great Motion Picture Studio$
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Andrew A. Erish

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780813181196

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813181196.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

1926 and Beyond

1926 and Beyond

(p.201) 6 1926 and Beyond

Andrew A. Erish

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter tracks Vitagraph's physical assets after its sale to Warner Bros., including the Brooklyn and Hollywood studios, as well as the actual films themselves, about 20% of which survive in archives. The post-Vitagraph activities of the company's founding partners is examined, from Blackton's profligacy that resulted in dire poverty, to Smith's second career as owner of the iconic Chateau Marmont hotel and receipt of an honorary Academy Award in recognition of his fundamental contributions to motion pictures. Several post-Vitagraph reunions and the fate of many of its key personnel are covered, including Margaret Gibson, a former ingénue at the Santa Monica and Hollywood studios who led an especially troubled existence. The chapter concludes with an in-depth discussion of how and why Vitagraph has been so utterly absent from the canon of film history.

Keywords:   Vitaphone, George Melies, Chateau Marmont, Academy Award, reunion, Margaret Gibson, scholarship, moguls, archives

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