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.
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. A viewer has posted this program tour on YouTube.
Charlie Chaplin Hollywood Tour
Tour silent-era Hollywood with this PDF guide prepared in connection with my Hollywood’s Silent Echoes presentations for the Cinecon Classic Film Festival at the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
The tour is annotated with corresponding page numbers (SV) from my Harold Lloyd film location book Silent Visions: Discovering Early Hollywood and New York through the Films of Harold Lloyd, from Santa Monica Press. Annotations for Charlie Chaplin (ST) and Buster Keaton (SE) refer to page numbers from my Chaplin and Keaton film location books Silent Traces and Silent Echoes. Locations that are not annotated represent new discoveries not appearing in the books.
The tour takes you to several silent-era locations right in Hollywood, as well as the sites for the Lloyd, Chaplin, and Keaton Studios.
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.