moving picture company / early 1900s

Vitagraph was the most successful US film company in the early years of the film industry.
It was established in 1896 in New York by two men born in Britain, Alfred E Smith and J Stuart Blackton.
Its stars included Rudolph Valentino and Norma Talmadge. Vitagraph moved to Hollywood in 1911 and was
bought by Warner Brothers in 1925.

from Online Britannica:

Establishment by J. Stuart Blackton

While interviewing Thomas A. Edison in 1895, Blackton’s interest in films was so aroused that in the following year he and Albert E. Smith
established Vitagraph; in 1899 they were joined by William T. Rock. Their first film, The Burglar on the Roof (1897), was followed by a long
series of film successes that made Blackton a millionaire.

Multiple-reel films had appeared in the United States as early as 1907, when Adolph Zukor distributed Pathé’s three-reel Passion Play, but when
Vitagraph produced the five-reel The Life of Moses in 1909, the MPPC forced it to be released in serial fashion at the rate of one reel a week.


  • Hathaways Theatre / New Bedford / 1906

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