100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Era (HD, 9 minutes): Universal founder Carl Laemmle and his vision for the future of cinema. A century later, that vision still resonates.
Carl Laemmle (born Karl Lämmle; January 17, 1867 – September 24, 1939) was a pioneer in American film making and a founder of Universal Studios. Laemmle produced or worked on over 400 films.
Regarded as one of the most important of the early film pioneers, Laemmle was born in modern-day Germany. He emigrated to the United States in 1884 and worked in Chicago for 20 years before he began buying nickelodeons, eventually expanding into a film distribution service, the Laemmle Film Service.
After moving to New York, Carl Laemmle got involved in producing movies, forming Independent Moving Pictures (IMP); the city was the site of many new movie-related businesses. On April 30, 1912, in New York, Laemmle of IMP, Pat Powers of Powers Motion Picture Company, Mark Dintenfass of Champion Film Company, William Swanson of Rex Motion Picture Company, David Horsley of Nestor Film Company, and Charles Baumann and Adam Kessel of the New York Motion Picture Company, merged their studios and incorporated the Universal Film Manufacturing Company, with Laemmle assuming the role of president. They founded the Company with studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where many early film studios in America's first motion picture industry were based at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1915, the studio moved to 235 acres (0.95 km2) of land in the San Fernando Valley, California.
Universal maintained two East Coast offices: The first was located at 1600 Broadway, New York City. This building, initially known as The Studebaker building, was razed around 2004-5. The second location to house Universal's executive offices was at 730 Fifth Avenue, New York City. Many years later, 445 Park Avenue was the location of Universal's executive offices.
After moving to California, Laemmle purchased as a residence for his family the former home of film pioneer Thomas Ince on Benedict Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills. The house was razed in the early 1940s. Laemmle also maintained a large apartment for himself and his two children, Rosabelle Laemmle (later Bergerman) and Carl Jr., at 465 West End Avenue, New York City, one block off Riverside Drive near the Hudson River.
In 1916, Laemmle sponsored the $3,000 three-foot-tall solid silver Universal Trophy for the winner of the annual Universal race at the Uniontown Speedway board track in southwestern Pennsylvania. Universal filmed each race from 1916 to 1922.
Carl Laemmle, although having made hundreds of movies in his active years as a producer (1909-1934), is probably best remembered for The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), The Phantom of The Opera (1925), both with Lon Chaney Sr. in the title role, and The Man Who Laughs (1928).
He died from cardiovascular disease on September 24, 1939, in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 72.Laemmle was entombed in the Chapel Mausoleum at Home of Peace Cemetery." ~ wikipedia.org
Steven J. Ross - Author, "Hollywood Left and Right"
Jeff Pirtle - Director, Archives & Collections NBC Universal
Jon Wilkman - Writer / Producer "Moguls & Movie Stars"
Robert S. Birchard - Author, "Early Universal City"
Carla Laemmle - Carl Laemmle's Niece
Business names used over the years:
Independent Moving Pictures Company (IMP)
Universal Moving Pictures
Universal Film and Manufacturing Company
Universal Pictures Company
Universal Pictures Corporation
Universal City Studios
Universal (An MCA Company)
Universal Studios Tour
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Orlando
Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Singapore
Universal (A Comcast Company)
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Original Executive Board / Founders of
Patrick Anthony "Pat" Powers - Buffalo Film Exchange, (Nickelodeons), Powers Motion Picture Company, Independent Moving Pictures Company (IMP)
Walter Benjamin Lantz - Walter Lantz Productions
Mark Dintenfass - Founder of studio Champion
William Swanson - Rex Motion Picture Manufacturing Company
David Horsley - Founded the Centaur Film Company and Nestor Film Company
Charles O. Baumann - Crescent Film Company, The Bison Life Motion Pictures Production Company, The Keystone Film Company
Adam Kessel - New York Motion Picture Company
Jules Brulatour - Motion Picture Distributing and Sales Company, Peerless Pictures, Eclair Film Company