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Honoring Mack Sennett

September 14, 1989

There are two errors, one typographical and the other technical, in Esther Schrader's story on the preservation of the remaining stage of the original Mack Sennett Studios. The article states that Sennett built stages on the site in 1916, but the location hasn't been used as a studio since Sennett left in 1916. In fact, the Sennett Studios moved from the site in 1928 to the Studio City location that later became Republic Studios and is now CBS/MTM.

More annoyingly, Schrader refers to the building as a sound stage. As a film historian specializing in technological aspects, I've found no reference to any experimentation with sound on the West Coast prior to 1927, so this could hardly be a sound stage. And, in fact, the first sound stage on the West Coast was built by Warner Bros. in the spring of 1927 for the sound scenes in "The Jazz Singer" at their old studios on Sunset Boulevard, now KTLA, where the stage reportedly still stands. It would be a year, after the success of that film, that serious interest in sound developed at various studios, with the earliest to start building stages being the two in the vanguard of sound films, Warner and the Fox Film Corp. at its then-new West Los Angeles studio, which it temporarily named "Movietone City" after its sound process and where the stages it built are still in use by 20th Century-Fox and its various tenants.

RICK MITCHELL, Los Angeles

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