Buster Keaton filmed his final independent production Steamboat Bill, Jr. in Sacramento, California. By the time Keaton and company came to town, Sacramento had become a popular location for Hollywood films. Historian Paul Frobose discovered these Sacramento locations, and has written a fascinating account for the Sacramento County Historical Society (Golden Notes, Summer 1992) recounting Sacramento’s heady days as a remote location during silent-era Hollywood. Aside from such scenic wonders as its rivers, farmlands, and proximity to the Sierras, at the time Sacramento was also an “open” town, with a booming underground economy of bootleg liquor, gambling, and prostitution. San Francisco was also a leisurely ferry ride away for weekend adventures. No doubt these pastimes attracted Hollywood’s visiting film company members.
The final scenes from the movie were filmed at Keaton’s small studio, some shown here, and represent the end of Keaton’s remarkable eight-year run of independent production before joining MGM.
This modified slide show is not animated.