City Lights Tour
As part of the Los Angeles Conservancy Last Remaining Seats film series, I helped introduce Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece City Lights at the spectacular Los Angeles Theater where the film premiered January 30, 1931. The PDF tour (click link below) starts at the Los Angeles Theater at 615 S. Broadway, and covers many locations within steps of the theater before heading west to Beverly Hills along Wilshire Boulevard. Unlike the gritty locations appearing during The Kid (1921), Chaplin sought out modern and urbane settings for City Lights. Yet another example of how the varied streets of Los Angeles were used to set the right character and tone for the movies.
Overview Tour of Cahuenga, Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd Alley, at Hollywood Blvd.
The great silent stars filmed far more on this one block than at any other spot in town. This brief overview tour includes Normand, Pickford, Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, and the Hollywood Heritage celebration of the Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd Alley.
Charlie Chaplin Hollywood Tour
Tour silent-era Hollywood with this PDF guide listing over 50 locations around town. The tour takes you to several spots right in Hollywood, as well as the sites for the Lloyd, Chaplin, and Keaton Studios.
The tour is annotated with corresponding page numbers (SV) from my Harold Lloyd film location book Silent Visions, (ST) page numbers from my Chaplin film location book Silent Traces, and (SE) page numbers from my Buster Keaton film location book Silent Echoes. Locations that are not annotated represent the many new discoveries not appearing in the books.
Chaplin Locations Tour on New Keystone DVDs
I highly recommend the Chaplin at Keystone DVD collection presented by Flicker Alley. Watching these beautiful restorations of Chaplin’s earliest films made during 1914 at the Keystone Studio is a revelation. For years only nearly unwatchable copies of these films were available. Now you can now clearly see Charlie’s face, nuances, and gestures, and appreciate why he stood out, and made such an immediate hit with audiences worldwide.
As part of the collection, I was honored to prepare a short bonus feature program outlining some of the film locations appearing in Chaplin’s Keystone films.
Chaplin Tour of the Bay Area
Below, Charlie’s 1915 Essanay comedies filmed in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and Niles.
Chaplin Tour of The Kid
Attached below is a PowerPoint presentation showing the historic settings in Chinatown and the Plaza de Los Angeles where Chaplin filmed his early masterpiece The Kid (1921). The file is about 60MB, and you will need a PowerPoint viewer to watch the show. Most of the slides are animated, so wait a moment each time before clicking the “next” button. You can download a PowerPoint viewer at this site.
The Pilgrim and Modern Times at the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society’s 2011 ChaplinFest, from within the very train station where Chaplin filmed The Pilgrim. Here is the site of the Modern Times finale on Google Maps.