One-hundred years ago this month, the first motion picture studio was opened in Hollywood by David Horsley in the old Blondeau Tavern on the northwest corner of Sunset and Gower. However, it wasn’t the first time that filming took place in the environs of the future film capitol. In those days, movie companies would show up unexpected and unannounced and begin filming a scene, then just as quickly leave. One such event occurred just six months before Horsley’s arrival at the famed Hotel Hollywood, now the site of the Kodak Theatre. The following is the account as it was reported in the Los Angeles Times the following day.
Turn guns on bellboys
Los Angeles Times
April 14, 1911
Two stage miners cause panic at hotel while making of motion-picture film progresses
While the guests at the Hotel Hollywood were enjoying a quiet siesta on the wide verandas yesterday they were thrown into an incipient panic by the appearance of two very stagey-looking mining men riding typical desert broncos.
The men were looking about furtively as they drew rein before the hotel. The guests’ watched them curiously as they laboriously dismounted.
Just then the doors of the hotel opened and two youths, dressed elaborately as bellboys, rushed out to meet the newcomers. The bellboys grabbed at a heavy leather bag which the mining men were placing on the ground.
Suddenly each of the mining men gave a shout, drew a large revolver and began firing indiscriminately at the bellboys. The hotel guests arose as one person and made a center rush for the doors leading into the lobby. They wedged themselves in the doorways and yelled for help. Children playing on the lawn yelled and fled for the crowded doorway.
Meanwhile the mining men were pumping away blithely with their revolvers. A third man appeared and the bombardment ceased. There was a moment’s conversation with a great deal of gesticulation and the mining characters, carrying their heavy leather pouch between them, marched up to the door of the hotel. The trembling bellboys were holding the miners’ horses. As soon as the mining men reached the shadow of the veranda they dropped their bag with a sigh and turned around genially to the peering and frightened faces of the guests.
“Gee,” said one, “these stunts are hard on we guys.”
The scene was staged for the benefit of the American Biography Company and was part of a long film now being made, which depicts the experience of two miners who strike it fabulously rich and have a strenuous experience at hotels owing to their suspicion of everyone who tries to carry their precious gold-laden leather pouch.
If anyone recognizes the plot and knows the title of this film, please post it here. Thank you.