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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Silver Lake studio with a muddled history up for grabs*

Photo from Google Maps

An old Silver Lake studio that has connections to the silent film era has gone up for sale at an asking price of  $3.49 million.  The LoopNet listing for what is called the Mack Sennett Stage or Mack Sennett Studios described the sale of the triangular building at the corner of Bates and Fountain avenues as an “opportunity to own a piece of moving making history in Los Angeles.”   But it’s not clear what piece of movie making history is up for sale.

The building, which at one point looked more like a giant wooden barn than film production facility,  is named after  silent film pioneer Mack Sennett.  But  Mack Sennett Studios, a city cultural historic landmarks, were actually located about two miles to the east on what is now Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park.  A quick online search reveals that one of Sennett’s stars, Mabel Normand, may have operated her short-lived Mabel Normand Film Company, in the building after she broke up with Sennett.

Did Sennett ever work here? Is it time to rename this the Mabel Normand Stage? Despite whose studio this may have once been, the property is said to have been involved in the film making business since 1916.

* Update: Stephen Collins, who owns the property, provided more information on the building’s Mack Sennett connection. “Mack Sennett built the studio in 1916 for Mabel Normand, shortly thereafter he and Howard Ince leased it to William S. Hart (silent cowboy star).”



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5 comments

  1. I directed a music video that shot in this building. I loved it. It would be an incredible resource if it was modernized.

  2. Mabel Normand had a dream to have a studio and it happen in 1916 and in 2012 it is for sale . Read the interview she did for the December 1916 Motion Picture Magazine http://looking-for-mabel.webs.com/mabelsdreamstudio.htm

  3. I worked in that building 58 years ago when it was known as the Curran Shop and Bates Electric. It was a scenery construction shop and a theatrical lighting shop. It will be interesting to see it again.

  4. Hi Jim
    Thank you so much for the history of this venue, I am sure our members will enjoy the information. I am sorry to say I never had the pleasure to have worked at the facility but WOW, after looking at all the great pictures, it must of been super neat. Thank you again Jim

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