The San Francisco Silent Film Festival begins Thursday, July 18. I will be signing books at the festival on Sunday, July 21, following the Kings of Comedy presentation at 10:00 a.m., and before the Safety Last! screening at 8:30 p.m. I have several posts showing how Harold Lloyd filmed Safety Last!, including two HERE and HERE.
I am especially looking forward to the Sunday 3:30 p.m. screening of The Last Edition (1925), an adventure-drama filmed on location throughout San Francisco, including many scenes shot at the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. As explained by Thomas Gladysz at his post, The Last Edition was considered lost until a unique surviving print was found in 2011 at EYE Film Instituut Nederland, and preserved by SFSFF President Rob Byrne.
The movie’s website identifies many fascinating San Francisco settings and street corners appearing in the film, and correctly surmises that other, non-identified scenes, must have been filmed in Los Angeles instead. It was and remains a common practice for movies filmed at faraway locations to be supplemented with pickup shots filmed in Hollywood. As I explain in my book Silent Visions, Harold Lloyd’s 1928 feature Speedy, filmed extensively on location in New York, contains many sequences where Manhattan and Los Angeles street corners are edited together. Likewise, as I explain in Silent Echoes, Buster Keaton intercut trolley scenes filmed in San Francisco and Hollywood for his 1922 short film Day Dreams. [UPDATE: After studying The Last Edition more closely, it contains a sequence that shows Charlie Chaplin filmed The Kid at the same Hollywood alley where Buster Keaton filmed Cops and Harold Lloyd filmed Safety Last! See post HERE.]
Filling in the blanks, I identify here three Los Angeles settings appearing in The Last Edition. The first setting, above, was filmed on Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Mary Moll Building. The automobile pictured above is parked nearly in front of where Grauman’s Chinese Theater would later be built in 1927. To the right, Buster Keaton falls in front of the Mary Moll Building during the movie-within-a-movie dream sequence from Sherlock Jr. (1924).
The next view above looks north up Hill Street from 6th Street – the trees along the south side of Pershing Square appear to the left of the movie frame. The extant Hotel Clark (red box) at 426 S. Hill Street, and the former Boos Bros Cafeteria (yellow oval) at 510 S. Hill Street are identified.
Lastly, the former joint Hollywood Fire and Police Station above, that once stood at 1625 and 1629 Cahuenga Boulevard, makes yet another silent-era film appearance. The station appeared in Buster Keaton’s feature films Three Ages (1923) and The Cameraman (1928), in Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last! (1923) and Hot Water (1924), and in the Douglas Fairbanks 1917 comedy Flirting With Fate, the 1924 Our Gang short High Society, and the 1925 Harry Langdon comedy Plain Clothes. You can read more about Keaton filming beside this fire station HERE.