As I explain in my book Silent Traces, Charlie Chaplin filmed several early comedies in Echo Park, just a few blocks south of the Keystone Studio where he began his film career 100 years ago. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it turns out that Chaplin and other Keystone stars also filmed beside homes that are still standing directly across the street from the park. As shown above and elsewhere below, Chaplin’s home in Cruel, Cruel Love (1914) is located at 1629 Park Avenue, at the NE corner of Logan Street. Other remaining homes along Park Avenue appear in Keystone films too (see below), standing just a few blocks east from where Chaplin filmed on Sunset Boulevard 100 years ago, as reported HERE. (Once again, these discoveries are possible due to the wonderful image quality of the Chaplin at Keystone DVD collection from Flicker Alley).
I began paying attention to the front porches appearing in early Keystone films after noticing that a dozen other movies were shot beside the front porch where Chaplin filmed the initial scene of his career (as reported HERE).
The porch in the Chaplin/Mabel Normand comedy Mabel at the Wheel (1914) reveals a “1629” address and an array of distinctive potted plants that clearly matches Chaplin’s porch in Cruel, Cruel Love (see below).
I also noticed a group of small bungalows that appears both in Cruel, Cruel Love and in Chaplin’s A Film Johnnie (1914), that reveal a street corner consistent in appearance to a corner appearing in the Roscoe Arbuckle comedy A Flirt’s Mistake (1914). The Arbuckle corner reveals a street sign reading “Park Ave” (see below).
Although hard to spot at first, I finally noticed that Chaplin’s “potted plant” porch also appears in A Flirt’s Mistake (see above), tying the pieces together. So on a hunch, I researched “Park Ave” in connection with the 1629 “potted plant” address, and found that Chaplin’s Cruel, Cruel Love home is still standing due north of Echo Park at 1629 Park Avenue.
Remarkably, a second home appearing both in Cruel, Cruel Love and in A Flirt’s Mistake, at the NW corner of Park and Logan, is also still standing (see above), as is the group of bungalows, just up the street, at what was originally 1711 – 1715 Park Ave (see below).
Below is a broad overview of the filming sites related to the north end of Echo Park. The arrow points west along Park Avenue past the corner of Logan.
Chaplin at Keystone from Flicker Alley: Copyright (C) 2010 by Lobster Films for the Chaplin Keystone Project. Today photos Copyright (C) 2014 Google Inc.; Bing Maps Bird’s Eye – (C) 2014 NAVTEQ, Pictometry Bird’s Eye (C) 2014 Pictometry International Corp., (C) 2014 Microsoft Corporation.
1629 Park Avenue on Google Street View.