Chaplin’s Very First Scene – Now a Jack-in-the-Box

Chaplin's first on-screen appearance

Chaplin’s on-screen debut.  Movie theater audiences first set eyes on Chaplin, this image of Chaplin, on February 2, 1914, 100 years ago.

Following the release of the Chaplin at Keystone DVD Collection, for which I prepared a bonus feature program, Kevin Dale contacted me wondering if Chaplin had filmed the opening scene from his inaugural film Making a Living in front of the home adjoining the Keystone Studio.  The Keystone Studio environs frequently appear in Keystone productions, and after close study I am convinced Kevin is correct.  Assuming they shot Making a Living in sequential order, this marks the very first scene of Chaplin’s entire career.  It also means that when the film opened on February 2, 1914, 100 years ago, it was through this scene that movie audiences were first introduced to young Mr. Chaplin.  The site is now a driveway to a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant, while the main filming stage remains in use today as a Public Storage warehouse.

View of the Keystone Studio. The large stage with the sign on the roof is still standing.

The large Keystone Studio stage with the sign on the roof is still standing. Marc Wanamaker – Bison Archives

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Comparing details likely confirms the location.  Notice the matching white trim of the square front porch steps, and the matching pair of palm trees.

The site is located approximately at 1710 Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park.  Bing Maps Bird’s Eye – © 2010 NAVTEQ, Pictometry Bird’s Eye © 2010 Pictometry International Corp., © 2010 Microsoft Corporation.

Chaplin at Keystone: Copyright (C) 2010 by Lobster Films for the Chaplin Keystone Project.

Young Mr. Chaplin stood here:

This entry was posted in Chaplin Tour, Charlie Chaplin, Keystone Studio and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Chaplin’s Very First Scene – Now a Jack-in-the-Box

  1. Pingback: Cameo Squared – Lou Gehrig in Ruth’s Speedy Cameo | Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

  2. Pingback: Edendale Film History: Keystone Studios turns 100 - Echo Park Historical Society

  3. Pingback: Chaplin Comedy Begins a Second Hundred Years - Wallpapers HD Wide

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