Monday, October 3, 2022

Reopening of the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum


I was in Niles and saw that the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum had reopened. Essanay Studios opened in 1907 in Chicago and opened the the Essanay West Studio in 1912 in Niles. Many of the Bronco Billy films were shot here and so was Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp. In 1916 it merged with other studio and stopped making films in 1918:

One of the cool things is that they still have some of the equipment that was used back in the day:

Charlie Chaplin was Essanay Studios biggest star but he hated Niles as it was pretty much undeveloped at the time and rural:

One of the cooler things is that the museum was an Edison Silent Movie Theater a 100+ years ago. The projection room was walled off for 80 years. The museum unwalled it off and the history of the place literally jumps off the walls. The second pic has been up there for over 100 years and is a  reminder to the projectionist to spit their chewing tobacco in a box that was provided. Because the film of the time contained silver nitrate and was highly flammable, the projectionist wasn't allowed to smoke in the projection room:

Another cool thing is that they have remade the theater part with one hundred seats and are showing silent films on Saturday nights:

The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is too cool. 


  1. Oh great I used to love watching silent films when I was a kid my dad had some :-)

    Have a hushtastic week 👍

  2. I'm sure they were an amazing invention for their time, I'm wondering what a spit tin box was

  3. How cool that it's reopened. Niles does have such a fascinating history with early westerns, and still feels like it's own town separate from the rest of Fremont.

  4. Times have sure changed. What a cool place.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous day, Patrick. ♥

  5. I like so much your posts with museums. And this one is very interesting. I like a lot Charlie Chaplin!
    Happy Today and a fine weekend!

  6. Fascinating post! I'd never heard of this museum but enjoyed seeing your pics. Thanks for linking!

  7. Museums are intriguing places. Touring this one (dedicated to cinematic history) looks like it would be a fascinating experience. Thank you for sharing this post in the Talent-Sharing Tuesdays Link-Up 36.

  8. What a cool place to visit!! Thanks so much for linking up at the Unlimited Link Party 83. Shared.

  9. That is really cool about a silent movie museum in an old theatre... I've learned everything about old film and the fire risk from "Cinema Paradiso". Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thank you for sharing this interesting museum with us at #weekendcoffeeshare. It's great that they kept history of silent films and their production and re-opened the museum.

  11. CONGRATS Patrick! Your post is FEATURED at the Unlimited Link Party 84!


Love hearing comments on stuff. Please tell me what you think of the places I have been to. If you like them or not. I love comments.