The Jazz Singer

Emilee LeMaire
Dr. Morris and Mrs. Dunphy
Adv. L.A. and U.S. History
7 May 2013

All the glam and glitz of Hollywood didn’t happen overnight. There were many significant events that led up to Hollywood being a filmmakers’ fly trap, including the first talking movie: The Jazz Singer.   First a small hut was built outside of Los Angeles, and then Hollywood became a city, quickly becoming a growing and thriving metropolis. Hollywood wouldn’t be what it is today without sound films including the “Jazz Singer”, which had a huge impact on all movies to come.  

Hollywood was settled in the 1800’s. In 1853 a small hut was built on some land outside of L.A. It got its name in 1887 and it became a city in 1903 but became part of the city Los Angeles in 1910. In 1900 500 people lived in Hollywood and by 1904 the trolley was built between Hollywood and L.A. Over the years the trolley became faster to get people to different cities faster. Growing crops and raising cattle was very successful. By 1870 Hollywood became a thriving agriculture community. In the early 1900s, filmmakers began moving to the Los Angeles area to get away from the strict rules imposed by Thomas Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company in New Jersey. Since most of the moviemaking patents were owned by Edison, independent filmmakers were often sued by Edison to stop their productions. Working without disturbance from Edison, the Biograph Company moved west with actors Blanche Sweet, Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore, and others, to make their films. After beginning filming in Los Angeles, the company decided to explore the neighboring area and stumbled across Hollywood. The first motion picture studio was built in 1919, in nearby Edendale, just east of Hollywood, by Selig Polyscope Company, and the first one built in Hollywood was founded by filmmaker David Horsley's general manager Al Christie in 1911, in an old building on the southeast corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street....