Where Roscoe Arbuckle Filmed His Brooklyn Vitaphone Shorts

(C) 2017 Google.

(C) 2017 Google.

This page studies the corner of E 14th and Ave M, spots (5), (6), (7), and (8) above. Remember to click each image for a larger view.

5 - Buzzin' Around - parked across from 1302-1306 E 13th.

(5) – Buzzin’ Around – parked across from 1306 E 14th.

The menacing car owner patiently waits in his convertible across from (5) 1306 E 14th, after Roscoe promises to unhitch their vehicles. Notice the distinctive twin windows and doors. The door furthest to the right has now been bricked shut.

5 and 7 - Buzzin' Around - corner of E 14th and Ave. M.

(7) and (5) – Buzzin’ Around – the corner of E 14th and Ave M.

Disaster! Instead of uncoupling their cars, Roscoe’s forward motion north towards the corner of E 14th and Ave M (7) tears the convertible apart.

7 - Buzzin' Around - corner E14th and Ave M.

(7) – Buzzin’ Around – the corner E 14th and Ave M.

Roscoe enters the intersection of E 14th and Ave M (7), towing the remnants of the convertible behind him.

6 - Buzzin' Around - view west down Ave M from E 14th.

(6) – Buzzin’ Around – view west down Ave M from E 14th.

During a prior scene when the convertible is still intact, Roscoe drags the car into Ave M (6), providing a view west. The north side of Ave M was lined with modest two-story homes that are now replaced with modern buildings spanning the entire block.

7 - Buzzin' Around - corner E 14th and Ave M, with corner E 14th and Elm at back.

(7) – Buzzin’ Around – preparing for their escape, Pete revs up the bathtub sidecar motor at the corner E 14th and Ave M. The corner of E 14th and Elm appears further at back.

8 - Buzzin' Around - view east towards corner of E 14th and Ave M.

(8) – Buzzin’ Around – view east towards corner of E 14th and Ave M.

Roscoe buys Al a replacement pair of pants after Al’s first pair are destroyed in the china shop. On the run from the cops, Roscoe holds Al aloft so he can don his new trousers without skipping a beat, reprising a gag Roscoe and Buster Keaton performed in The Garage (1918). The tracking shot from the film travels west along Ave M from the corner of E 14th.

Below – the SW corner of E 14th and Ave M. Next, spots (9), (10), (11), and (15).

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12 Responses to Where Roscoe Arbuckle Filmed His Brooklyn Vitaphone Shorts

  1. Bill Counter says:

    Thanks, John! Great as always.

    Like

  2. Tom Carr says:

    John, your remarkable eye works equally well on both coasts! I really enjoyed this post, because I’m a native New Yorker and I own the Arbuckle-Shemp Howard DVD. I’m not from Brooklyn, though (Manhattan), so I was stumped trying to figure out just where these films were made. Brooklyn or Queens, obviously, but just WHERE? Now I know. Thanks!

    Poor Roscoe, though… he still “had it,” but cruel fate cut him down.

    Like

  3. travsd says:

    Reblogged this on Travalanche and commented:
    There’s no way the Travalanche readers won’t LOVE this article and the blog it comes from. Thanks John Bengtson!

    Like

    • Thank you Trav – given LA’s dismal preservation record it’s remarkable to see how little in Brooklyn has changed after 85 years. Do you know any local history groups that might appreciate this information? John

      Like

  4. Pingback: Arbuckle – Keaton at the Bronx Biograph Studio | Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

  5. Sandy says:

    Loved this information. Late 50’s early 60’s I lived one block south of Wilshire on Detroit in a building I can see! It has since been torn down and is a parking lot. So many familiar landmarks where movies and history were made.

    Like

  6. DW Miller says:

    The Midwood, Brooklyn neighborhood near the Avenue M subway stop has changed so in the past 5 years. The demolition of the former Vitagraph studio site that was used by an Orthodox Jewish girls’ school and the building of rental apartments there, and the transformation of the former NBC Brooklyn I & II studios across East 14th Street into a Jewish social services & community center (Brooklyn I) and a self-storage facility (Brooklyn II) Progress. At least the Vitagraph smokestack still stands.

    Like

    • Thanks for the update DW – change is inevitable, but it always makes me a bit sad when some classic building or neighborhood is demolished, or loses its character. It was fun tracking these down using Google maps – I’ve never visited in person

      Like

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