The Thanhouser Studio and the Birth of American Cinema

The Thanhouser Company was a trailblazing studio based in New Rochelle, New York, where from 1910 to 1917 it released over 1,000 films seen by audiences around the world. This documentary from Portlander Ned Thanhouser, grandson of studio founders Edwin and Gertrude, reconstructs the little-known story of the studio and its founders, technicians, and stars as they entered the nascent motion picture industry to compete with Thomas Edison and the companies aligned with his Motion Pictures Patents Corporation (MPPC). Recounting a saga of entrepreneurship, success and reversal, cinematic innovation, the launching of careers, and the transition of the movie industry from the East Coast to the West, Thanhouser’s film provides an intriguing perspective on both the studio and the pioneering days of independent movie-making in America.

Genres: Documentary