It’s showtime again for Edendale

Echo Park studio opens near former Edendale silent film studios. Photo from 1bigstage.com

It was a century ago that pioneering silent film studios set up shop in a village called Edendale, which straddled the border of present-day Echo Park and Silver Lake along what is now Glendale Boulevard. Edendale reigned for a few years as the center of Los Angeles’ young film industry before Hollywood emerged as the entertainment capital. By the 1920s, about a decade after stars like Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford worked in Edendale, most of  the city’s first sound stages, lots and studio buildings had closed or been converted to other uses. What was once known as Edendale is now better known for traffic jams and fast-food drive-thrus instead of movie making. In recent years, however, a bit of Hollywood appears to have returned to Edendale.

Chaplin's first Edendale movie.

Some Glendale Boulevard warehouses have served as temporary stages for TV and music video productions, including a popular OK Go video. In 2009, a former jewelry manufacturing plant near at Allesandro Street and Glendale Boulevard reopened as a large music recording studio and rehearsal space know as Bedrock. Now, another former industrial building at Glendale Boulevard and Lake Shore Avenue has been converted into a 13,000-square-foot commercial studio.  On the 1 Big Stage website, the newly renovated space boasts 24-foot high ceilings, flooring for sets, space for 24-foot production trucks and space for make up, wardrobe and post-production offices.

Jesse Curl, head of of production of Mackingwell Entertainment, which is operating the studio, is still finishing up the space but has already received a lot inquiries, especially among production workers who live near the space. “I have people who say ‘I can ride my bike to your stage,'” Curl said.

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The birthplace of Hollywood goes unnoticed at the end of an Echo Park freeway ramp. The Eastsider

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