Edna Purviance's bio

June 6, 2018 - Re-editing Edna Purviance's family biography 2nd Draft. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Library of Congress 2009 National Registry

25 films were added to the 2009 Library of Congress National Registry, including silent films with Mabel Norman 1914 "Mabel's Blunder," 1927 film directed by Karl Brown "Stark Love," and the 1911 live action animation work of "Little Nemo" by Winsor McCay.

Here is a little tribute to all of them. More about the list at this link.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Charlie Chaplin's 'White Elephant'

My cartoon pick for the day and it might disappear, since I can't find the copyright on it.

UPDATE: Here is a PDF with more from BFI about this and other Chaplin 'Clones.' I will keep this cartoon up, as long as allowed. Note: BFI is currently working on the DVD collection of the Chaplin Keystone films.

Slapstick 2010 Program

The current Slapstick 2010 program in Bristol, England is now available in a PDF download. LINK TO PDF.

Update: BBC Breakfast report on Slapstick 2010

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Amazon UK link for the DVD Chaplin Keystone

Amazon UK has the link for the Chaplin Keystone Collection from BFI Video Publishing, up and running. You can currently sign up for an email alert when the collection goes on sale. The BFI PAL edition, are in 2 discs and according to the latest information, does not include outtakes as extras.

UPDATE August 25, 2010 - The USA Flicker Alley release of the 4 DVD set of Chaplin at Keystone will release in Oct. (either on 26th of before). Pre-order special with free shipping on now at Flicker Alley. LINK

The USA version will be released through
FLICKER ALLEY, but it currently doesn't show any Amazon links on the USA site. So we are getting closer to having these being available! I can see lots of these under the tree next some year! (Note - Keystone ASIN: B002EAKWDO)

Checkout FLICKER ALLEY site for bonus clips of several currently release silents films, including the Valentino Collection, J'Accuse and Douglas Fairbanks. Also, check out the BFI site for more about the restoring of the Keystone films.

See comments for more information on this long awaited collection.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

1916 - Charlie Chaplin's Own Story, online

"Christmas came and went and I did not have an offer of a place on the stage." - from 'Charlie Chaplin's Own Story', 1916 on Internet Archives

Looking for some online reading this Christmas? Internet Archives has the 1916 book 'Charlie Chaplin's Own Story.' It was the first book published about Chaplin, but this controversial book, cause a legal battle when it was published. This rare book is now available online. It is available for download or to read online.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Update on Chaplin The Keystone Films

I learned today from our loyal European fan, that The Keystone Films will be released worldwide under different labels. In the UK, it will be under BFI and in the USA it will be under Flicker Alley. It is currently still on schedule for sometime in 2010.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Honorable Mention for Miss Edna

The Sea Gull author just learned we have received a HONORABLE MENTION for BEST NON-FICTION AUTHOR from the Beverly Hills bi-weekly publication called The Beverly Hills Outlook.

Meanwhile, we are still sorting out details with a possible new printer for the book. Christmas holiday season for the book company and a load of personal business work for us, does slowdown the process.

We do have a growing list of people interested in buying The Sea Gull. Currently, we are sold out of good copies, so hoping to get this all worked out. If you are interested in the book, you can add your name to the list by contacting us.

In case you didn't know, our current printer basically quit doing the job this fall, so we had to look for another printer who can produce quality work. I will email the list on any major developments, but in the meantime, just watch Edna's websites for updates.

Note: The Sea Gull is about Edna Purviance's lost film, produced by Charles Chaplin, and directed by Josef von Sternberg. Book by Linda Wada, published by Leading Ladies.

My silent film era Cartoon Pick of the day!

It is Saturday morning and time for another animated cartoon pick. Getting my fix with Felix the Cat today. From Crazy Toon World. 1920s animated Felix Cartoon. Felix's creator, Otto Messmer, was inspired by cartoon artist Winsor McCay and by the film work of Charlie Chaplin.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Actress, Jennifer Jones, has passed away

Academy Award winning actress, Jennifer Jones, has died at the age of 90. She won the Oscar for "The Song of Bernadette" in 1943. Full story here at the LA Times.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Claire Bloom on UK's The Doctor Who Christmas Special

Claire Bloom will be on Doctor Who Christmas special this holiday season on the UK BBC. From the Times Online, an interesting article covering her time with Charlie Chaplin. (Bloom's first film was Limelight, with Charlie Chaplin.) More

UPDATE: DEC. 25th - I just had a Chaplin/Purviance fan, clear this one up for me, as BBC America will be showing Doctor Who latest program with Claire Bloom on Dec. 26th (the day after it first appeared in the UK). Check it out SATURDAY, Dec. 26th, on BBC America.

Another little book in a Top Book list...

Thanks to Lon Davis, who just let me know about another little book making it into the San Francisco Examiner Best Book List of most recent books... Take a look at the slide show at the bottom of the article...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My tribute to photographer, Larry Salton

In the summer of 1980, I was a student at the Sun Valley Art Center in Sun Valley, Idaho. One of the workshops that summer was with photographers Mike Mandel and Larry Salton. The workshop was two weeks long, with the second week devoted to creating a billboard in Shoshone, Idaho.

They Came to Shoshone was created from varies ideas involving the town of Shoshone. Three students, including myself, were photographed and placed on the billboard. It stayed there for many months, but this picture was taken the day we put it up. All the students helped in creating it.

Larry Salton has passed away Sunday from cancer at his home in Greenbrae, California. He was 63 years old. More at the LA Times.


Books I have posted on Edna's site this year that have made it on some BEST BOOK LIST for 2009. Check them out! (Updated December 16th.)

Leonard Maltin's BEST BOOKS LIST includes:
King of the Movies: Francis X. Bushman
by Lon and Debra Davis (Also on the S.F. Examiner List)

The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion
by Dan Kamin


Best Movies

'Chaplin: A Life' by Stephen Weissman

Best Children's
The Rainbow Orchid by Garen Ewing
Also on the Lovereading 4 Kids Books of the Year 2009

Update December 16, 2009
San Francisco Examiner - Best 2009 and Recent Film Book List

The Sea Gull - by Linda Wada

Aviators in Early Hollywood - By Shawna Kelly

Great additions to your collection! For more books on these list, check these links: Leonard Maltin, UK Independent and The San Francisco Examiner. Note: The Sea Gull is on the Best Most Recent Film Book List (since it was published in 2008). The Sea Gull is currently working on getting a new printer for the book.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Latest Chaplin Library Database Update

I just love this cover!
It is the first cover I have seen
about eight images of Edna on it.
Just one of the latest books added to Dominique's
Chaplin Library Database

Recollecting Charlie
by Kaushik, Manav
Hardback edition with jacket (English)
Shubhi Publication (India) 2009
426 pages - illustrated

Friday, December 11, 2009

Charlie Chaplin Antique Enameled Handbag

Charlie Chaplin
Antique Enameled Handbag
Cream and black over metal mesh
Silver-toned metal handle
(Auction Now Over: Winning Bid Chaplin bag: $1784.25.)

This lovely purse is currently up for auction at Auctions Collect.

There is a colour handbag, as well, with Clark Gable. Auction ends December 16th... (Winning Bid Gable: $1989)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Actor Gene Barry has died...

Actor Gene Barry died Wednesday at the Sunrise Assisted Living center at Woodland Hills, California. He was 90 years old. Mr. Barry played in dozens of films and numerous television series, including starring in the 'The War of the Worlds' (sci-fi classic). More at the LA TIMES.

My cartoon pick for today

My cartoon video pick of the day. Ivan Maximov Russian cartoon set to Bolero. Again, another wordless piece set to music.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Amazing animation with paint on city streets

From my other interest file, an amazing animated video by BLU. Created in Brazil, this animation wasn't created with blue screens, but painted on the city street walls of Buenos Aires and Baden. I find it like a modern silent film, since there is no talking and only music and some sound effects accompanying the 7+ minute piece. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Rainbow Orchid special DECEMBER SALE!

The Rainbow Orchid

Special December Sale!
£4 off Signed/Sketched Books & T-shirts!
Click here and HURRY and order TODAY!

"Best Books for Christmas List 2009"
Independent UK

Direct from Garen Ewing's
The Rainbow Orchid Shop

Sale price includes shipping
Special gift this holiday season!

Watch for Volume 2 in 2010!

Update: December 11, 2009: Garen Ewing's 'The Rainbow Orchid' listed as one of the Best children's books for Christmas - The Independent (UK).

UPDATE Jan. 2010 - Looking for the best USA price on The Rainbow Orchid? Check out The Book Depository. It is listed under $10 with free shipping worldwide. Prices can change. I have ordered from them and had good service from the UK. Also, if you have an Amazon account, it is listed under $7 (currently in January 2010), but you need to add shipping to USA order.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Aurélia's Oratorio at Berkeley

Aurélia’s Oratorio

Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Berkeley, California
December 4 - January 24, 2010

Written and directed by Victoria Thierrée Chaplin
"Fantasy for the whole family."

Austrian Film Museum Chaplin retrospective

From today (Dec. 2nd) through January 7th, 2010, the Austrian Film Museum will be showing a full retrospective of Charlie Chaplin's films. Check this link for more details.

February 25, 2010 - Review of the event.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

December events at Niles


Saturday, December 5, 2009 - 3:00 PM
Free Book Signing and Presentation
Theatres Of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose with Jack Tillmany and Gary Parks.

Saturday, December 5, 2009 - 7:30 PM
Suggested donation $15 general admission - $12 museum members
advance tickets available


Return to a time when movies were shown with vaudeville acts, illustrated songs, hand-colored slides, and lecturers in frock coats. See Illusionist extraordinaire, Reed Kirk Rahlmann with his notorious contortionist routine, still uncensored but all-new, rivaling Houdini and the Great Sandow for its outrages against the human body.

See Greg Tiede impersonating Winsor McCay in his famous vaudeville act featuring Gertie the Dinosaur, the world’s first cartoon superstar. See the Georges Melies' fantasy masterpiece A Trip to the Moon performed as San Francisco originally saw it – with narration – recreated by the Niles Essanay Thespian Ensemble.

See four lost illustrated songs. Hear [and see!] songs accompanied by authentic handcolored magic lantern slides and song stylings by the inimitable Lori Leigh Gieleghem and Sean Sharp. The entire affair will be presided over by Frederick Hodges, who will accompany the live acts and additional movies in the authentic nickelodeon style. 35mm Prints will be shown on our Powers Cameragraph 6B hand-cranked projector.

Additional films include:
The Great Train Robbery - (1903, Edison, handcolored, 35mm)
Suspense - (1913, Rex, 35mm)
The Dancing Pig - (1907, Pathe, 35mm)
The Red Spectre - (1907, Pathe, hand-colored)

Sunday December 6, 2009 - 12:30 PM
Suggested donation $10 general admission - $8 museum members
advance tickets available
The Legend of Pancho Barnes (2009)
The thrilling life and times of aviation pioneer Florence Lowe ‘Pancho’ Barnes, one of the most colorful and accomplished women pilots of the early 20th Century, is chronicled in this documentary directed by Amanda Pope; produced and written by Nick T. Spark.

It features interviews with Chuck Yeager and Buzz Aldrin, and is narrated by Tom Skerritt and Kathy Bates. Mr. Spark will host this event and be available for questions after the film. Photo courtesy of the Pancho Barnes Trust Estate Archive

Hell’s Angels (1930, Caddo Co.) Ben Lyon, James Hall, Jean Harlow
Howard Hughes’ aviation classic tells the story of two brothers, both in love with Jean Harlow, who join the RAF when World War 1 breaks out. Maybe the dialog and acting are dated, but no expense was spared on the impressive dogfight and zeppelin scenes. Pancho Barnes provided sound effects for the film by flying at an altitude of 1000 feet around a balloon that contained a microphone.

Saturday December 12 3:00 PM
Book Signing and Presentation
Early Universal City by Bob Birchard

Saturday December 12, 2009 - 7:30 PM
Suggested donation $5
Judy Rosenberg (piano)
advance tickets available


In conjunction with the publication of Bob Birchard’s new book, Early Universal City, Bob will host a program of Universal releases, and be available to sign his books, which include biographies of Cecil B. De Mille and Tom Mix, and filmmaking in Santa Barbara.
The Goose Woman (1925, Universal) Louise Dresser and Jack Pickford star in a story of a mysterious woman whose past comes to light.

With shorts:
Behind the Screen - (1915, Nestor) Al Christie, Neal Burns, Eddie Lyons
He Married Her Anyhow - (1914, Joker-Universal)
The Black Masks - (1913, Bison, reissued as Unmasked, 1917) Francis Ford and Grace Cunard.

Sunday December 13, 2009 - 4:00 PM
Suggested donation $5
advance tickets available
The Midnight Patrol Tent of the “Sons Of The Desert”
The International Laurel & Hardy vintage comedy appreciation society, will once again be meeting at the Edison Theater at 3:00 pm prior to the films. The public is welcome to attend their friendly, informal and informative meeting. Bill Cassara, author of Edgar Kennedy, Master of the Slow Burn, will be in attendance to sign his book.

Babes in Toyland - (1934, Roach) Laurel and Hardy star in this perennial favorite with music from the Victor Herbert operetta.

With shorts:
Mabel’s Wilful Way - (1915, Keystone) Mabel Normand, Fatty Arbuckle, Edgar Kennedy
Laughing Gravy - (1931, Roach) Laurel and Hardy
Mama’s Little Pirate - (1934, Roach) Our Gang

Saturday December 19, 2009 - 7:30 PM
Suggested donation $5
Judy Rosenberg (piano)
advance tickets available
Short Subjects Night
The Floorwalker - (1916, Lone Star) Charlie Chaplin
Among Those Present - (1921, Roach) Harold Lloyd
The High Sign - (1921, Comique) Buster Keaton
Big Business - (1929, Roach) Laurel and Hardy

Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 7:30 PM
Suggested donation $5
Bruce Loeb (piano)
Steamboat Bill, Jr. - (1928, Buster Keaton) Buster Keaton filmed this Mississippi riverboat comedy in Sacramento. It includes one of his most famous and dangerous stunts.
With shorts:
Two Gun Gussie - (1918, Rolin) Harold Lloyd
Love ‘em and Weep - (1927, Roach) Stan Laurel, James Finlayson, Oliver Hardy

Check this link for tickets and more details!
Thanks to Michael Bonham for the December schedule. (listing from Niles)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Eight Years Down, rolling into ninth!

Eight years down, rolling into ninth!

Edna's .org site starts rolling into our 9th year on the web
and to kick it off...

A special report about my first visit to
Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum


October 28, 29, and 30, 2009
International Charlie Chaplin Conference
Charlie Chaplin in the Heartland

Tuesday, November 24, 2009



Due to recent problems with our current printer, Leading Ladies has decided to suspend sales of The Sea Gull book, until further notice. Many publishers and authors are having difficulties with this printer.

Though we were satisfied with the old printer for a long time, their business situation changed, and their standards have fallen below our acceptable standards.

I personally inspect every book before it is shipped to a customer. This ensures you receive a properly printed and unflawed book. Customers never receive a bad book, and Leading Ladies deals directly with the printer for any print quality issues.

Though we had good luck in the past, we recently experienced a series of troubling developments with getting properly printed books. The most recent order was so badly done, it has caused us to pull The Sea Gull off the market, until we locate a new printer for our book.

Gearing up with another printer will take some time, and we are following up promising leads. Most time-consuming will be the changes needed to the book's files to match the needs of the new printer's system.

Please revisit often during this transition period. I will be sending out notices and have special posts on the return of The Sea Gull.

It saddens us that The Sea Gull will be unavailable for awhile, but Leading Ladies will only sell the best produced product. Thanks for your patience during this time.

We have plenty of sales, with customers waiting, but can not service any customers, until this issue is solved.

UPDATE DECEMBER 6, 2009 - I am creating a re-launch list for The Sea Gull book. If you like to be on the list, please contact us thought this link. Thanks! We are working on getting a new printer and have some promising leads. It just takes time.

Update January 15, 2010 - We do have a new printer! It took awhile to find someone who could do what we needed for our project and to be approved as a new client. After a real talk with them, on the phone, we now have a special contact person assigned to our project. It will cost us in money and time in doing the changeover, but deeply in the process now. No re-launch date, yet, but watch the site for updates. Thanks for interest and all the new fans signing up for the book.

Chaplin Museum in two years?

November 22 - Associated Press report on the latest news on the Chaplin Museum at his family mansion at Corsier-sur-Vevey. The project has been on-going for about 10 years. more>

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Great Nickelodeon Show in Niles

December 5, 2009
The Great Nickelodeon Show
Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
Niles, California

To be sure your seat, get your ticket today! Click on images!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Slapstick 2010 with Michael Palin!

January 21-24, 2010

Slapstick 2010

Something Almost Completely Different with very special guest
Michael Palin

Bristol, England
Colston Hall
Check it out NOW!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TCM Classic Film Festival Passes

Turner Classic Movies Film passes go on sale today, for the April 2010 event in Hollywood. Prices range from $499 to $1,199. MORE>

The "Classic" Festival Pass: $499 -- Includes access to all film programs at festival venues; access to all Club TCM events, including festival headquarters, the festival lounge, panel discussions, social events, the festival boutique and poolside screenings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; an opening-night welcome party; Friday and Saturday evening passholder gatherings; the closing-night event; and a commemorative festival program.

The "Essential" Festival Pass: $599 -- Includes all privileges available to "Classic" passholders, plus entry to the opening-night red carpet screening of A Star is Born at Grauman's Chinese Theatre and official TCM festival collectibles.

The "Spotlight" Festival Pass: $1,199 -- Includes all privileges available to "Classic" and "Essential" passholders, plus entry to an exclusive opening-night party following the red carpet screening of A Star is Born, hosted by Vanity Fair magazine; priority entry to all events; a meet-and-greet breakfast with Robert Osborne; and an official TCM Classic Film Festival poster signed by Osborne.

Here is the official link from Turner Classic Movies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Major Fouad Khalil Aide, longtime Edna and Charlie fan

Major Fouad Khalil Aide
Longtime Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance fan

Today, very saddened to learn of the passing of longtime Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance fan, Major Fouad Khalil Aide. Major Aide has written to Edna's for years and it was always great to hear from him. Major Aide and his wife, both loved Edna, and he will be missed in the circle of Edna fans, worldwide. Our heart felt condolences to his family... Linda Wada, ednapurviance.org/com

About Major Fouad Khalil Aide (from tribute site):
Fouad was commissioned from the University of Texas ROTC Program in 1953. He served as a Military Police Officer for his twenty years in the Army. He served three tours of duty in Viet Nam, with one year as an Infantry Officer. He was recalled to active duty for service in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He was attached to the FBI on their Terrorism Task Force because of his expertise in the various Arabic dialects and cultures. He was fluent in Arabic, Spanish and Vietnamese and had a good working knowledge of Italian, Portuguese and French. He was the Chief, International Military Student Office of USAMPS for 33 years. Some of Major Aide’s awards and decorations include three awards of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, Vietnamese Service Medal with seven campaigns. For his combat service in Vietnam, he was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

First email and a few others, over the years...

I am a big Charles Chaplin fan. I have many of his films on 8mm film. I have recently purchased the available films on DVD. However there are a number of his films that are not included in these DVDs.

I would appreciate any help you can give me in finding the following Chaplain films on DVD.
1.Mabel at the Wheel,

2. Caught in the Rain,
3. Her Friend the Bandit,
4. Mabel's Busy day,
5.The Property Man,
6. Gentleman of Nerve,
7. His Trysting Place,
8. His Prehistoric Past,
9. The Professor,
10.How to Make Movies,
11. Show People.

If I am able to obtain them, I would have a almost complete collection of his films. He is the best of the best. Your listings are outstanding in providing excellent information on him.

You are to be commended. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.
Happy Easter. Maj. Fouad K. Aide (US Army)

Others over the years...

"I thought that you were a youngster. I was born in 1931. Served 44 years in the US Army, had 3 combat tours in Vietnam and served a year in the first Gulf War. SO I can remember many different decades. Have a great week Linda" - Fouad

Hi Linda, Thank you for the heads up. Will check out the site. Looking forward to seeing the Edna site. PLMK when you get it running.

Thanks again Linda. I'm looking forward to getting the Keystone films. I know you are also. Regards,

Hi Linda,
Will buy the first copy of your second book. PLMK when it will be out.

Hi Linda,
...I wish we could meet someday. We have the same interests. My wife and I love Edna.

Hi Linda,
That is great news. PLMK when you have more info on the dates. Have a great week. I am happy to know that I am one of your special Edna fans.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Jin Yan

Seattle author, Richard Meyer, talks about his new book, "Jin Yan: The Rudolph Valentino of Shanghai," featuring the history of Chinese silent films. LINK

Friday, November 06, 2009

£3.20 buys Zepped, unknown Chaplin film?

Unknown Chaplin film? Or re-edited film with Chaplin outtakes. That is what Morace Park, a collector in England, who bought a £3.20 film off ebay called 'Zepped' is researching to find out.

'Zepped' contains footage showing Chaplin, but the Chaplin footage could be never released outtakes, which Chaplin had many of during early film career. Still, unseen footage of Chaplin causes excitement. And could be worth up to $40,000.

"The find has caused a storm among experts and features unseen footage of Zeppelins flying over England during World War I, as well as very early stop-motion animation and outtakes from Chaplin films. The main animated sequence starts with Chaplin wishing he could return to England from America and fight with British soldiers. It shows him being taken on a flight through clouds before landing on a spire in England.

Mr Park said: 'It starts with live shots of Chaplin. It then turns into a dreamscape. 'We see a Zeppelin bomb attack. And then we see Chaplin taking the mickey out of the Zeppelin, at the time a powerful instrument of terror,' he told The Guardian.

The movie, shot on 35mm nitrate film, is believed to have been a First World War propaganda piece aimed at lessening the fear of airship bombing raids which Germany had been launching on Britain from the beginning of 1915.

Mr Pogorzelski believes the film is made from outtakes and footage from previous films reedited by Essanay and cut together with shots of Zeppelins and animated material. He described it as 'either piracy or entrepreneurship - depending on which side of the fence you're on'.

Simon Louvish, author of Chaplin: The Tramp's Odyssey, told the Independent: 'There are a number of these compilation films around, and in Senegal there were a number of films that had been cut together by other people using Chaplin footage. 'Keystone Pictures was going bust at the time and footage from these Chaplin films were freely available. This is less so of the Essanay films." - Daily Mail

The footage has been 'classified for exhibition' in Egypt. More about the story at this link.

Update: One of our loyal Edna fans and longtime Chaplin expert said he was asked about this film, and saw some of the footage. The footage he saw was taken from known released films of Chaplin, from the Keystone and Essanay era.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Congratulations to our 2009
Edna birthday winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest.
Watch for future drawings at Edna's.

The correct answers were:
1 - What event was this poster created for?
Festival Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Italy

2 - What premiered at this event in 2005?
Restored version of "A Woman of Paris"

3 - Who was a guest of honor at this event?
Lita Hill

Monday, November 02, 2009

Silent Film event for Hearing Loss

November 11-14, 2009
San Diego, California
Silent Film Festival
Raising Awareness for Hearing Loss
Museum of Photographic Arts
Balboa Park

Four days of silent film fun from Buster Keaton to Charlie Chaplin, to raise awareness for hearing loss. Program by San Diego and Carlsbad Chapters of The Hearing Loss Association of America. Admission is free. Donations are accepted. Visit this link for more details on times.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

My video visit of Niles Silent Film Museum

On October 24th, 2009, I visited, for the first time, the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum with guide Michael Bonham (volunteer coordinator, news editor and sometimes MC) and author, Shawna Kelly, who made a special trip down to join us in Niles.

This is just a sample of my visit at the museum. I am not in the video, but Shawna and Michael are, showing us the different locations, cameras and projectors at the theatre. This simple video was all done in fun and I hope you will enjoy... LINK TO VIDEO

I will also have a report coming soon about my visit to Niles. Update: Here is my report about my visit to Niles.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grand View Lawsuit settled!

Story with the Glendale News Press (article on web limited time)
"Attorneys representing plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against Grand View Memorial Park have announced a $3.8-million settlement agreement. ...$500,000 would go toward the restoration of Grand View Memorial Park. Ayers will head up the restoration process, which includes obtaining original cemetery records, identifying and storing cremated remains in the mausoleum, installing an irrigation system, rehabilitating its landscaping and keeping track of all project accounts." - Glendale News Press

NOTE: It is reported the Superior Court Judge is likely to approve of the settlement.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Edna!!!

October 21, 2009 is Edna's birthday! I originally planned to have a drawing, but due to a business trip for our company, I am combining this trip with a visit to some of Edna's old haunts to do some more reserach and seeing a film event in Niles for the first time.

So, instead of a drawing today, please sign up for a chance to win one of Edna's 'A Woman of Paris' posters. Answer the three questions correctly and I will add your name to the growing list of entries. Drawing will be November 4th.

Celebrate Edna's birthday today, by seeing your favorite Edna film! Off and running, now! More when I get back...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stephen Weissman 'Chaplin: A Life' in UK and Germany

Stephen Weissman
Chaplin: A Life
Available in United Kingdom and Germany
(Watch for editions in Russia, Estonia and Brazil)

Friday, October 16, 2009

From the web, A tour of Star Museum

From the youtube collection a tour of the Star Museum in Abingdon, Virginia, with guide and owner Robert Weisfield.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Grand View open another Nine Days!

October 15, 2009 - Grand View Cemetery will be open for another nine days, after this weekends opening on October 18th. Link to full story at Glendale News. Story online for a limited time. Link to Glendale City Hall.

"Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John Wiley ordered the cemetery be opened Nov. 1, 15 and Thanksgiving Day; Dec. 13 and Christmas Day; New Year’s Day and Jan. 6, the day many Armenians celebrate Christmas; Jan. 10 and 24. Visitations are from noon to 4 p.m."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Donna Hill's Stolen Moments is Back!

Stolen Moments is back with Donna Hill's latest podcast with author Matthew Kennedy about Joan Blondell: A Life Between the Takes.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

1144 and a thought...

Thanks to everyone for signing the petition!

A thought to keep in mind...

If Edna fans are really serious about getting Edna a star on the Walk of Fame, and IF Edna was selected by the Hollywood Walk of Fame Committee, and each of the signed 1000 fans, paid $25 each, that would be $25,000, and would pay for the cost of getting a star on the Walk of Fame for Edna. You would have played a direct role in getting the star on the Walk of Fame for Edna and something you could tell your future generation about.

You could walk up to that star and say, I helped get Edna's star on the Walk of Fame! And you would be part of the history, behind that star. Think about it... $25 isn't much, to be part of film history...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Date change for Edna's birthday drawing and updates...

In what can be a very quiet time in the office suddenly turned into several things happening all at ONCE. And it all start Sunday, as our first snowfall of the year, brought down not only leaves, but the branches and limbs supporting them (about 17 limbs in our yard alone).

I never seen so many trees damaged in this town. It is something I have seen on television, but quite different to see, falling right in front of you, as a 20 foot limb, crack and falls right in front of us, causing a brief, whiteout. I moved both our cars, just minutes, before two limbs crashed onto the driveway.

As we worked on cleaning up, some exciting news came in about a possible Edna Purviance event next year in Niles, as part of their weekly, weekend events.

I have been asked to come down and visit one of their events and talk about maybe being part of their event. I've never been to any Niles events before, so looking forward to it.

On the same day, a work related project suddenly appeared, making that trip possible sooner, instead of later, which was very exciting to have happen. So, I will be heading down this month. Again, nothing set yet and only in the planning stages.

Because of this, I will have to move the Edna Purviance Birthday drawing to a later date, as I will be gone on the 21st. I will be moving the drawing to November 4th. That will give everyone two more weeks to enter.

Plus, the Walk of Fame folks at Facebook, finally reached over 1000 names on their Edna petition. The names will be checked and a few additional will have be gained, before the form is totally official. So if you like to show your support, please do so.

Something else happened, too. Something we have been trying for along time, but we will have to see how it develops. This came out of the blue, so we'll have to see where it leads too.

Meanwhile, the FDR Secret Air Force is working toward final stages.

More to report, but leave it for now.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

1001! On Edna's Walk of Fame Drive!!!

This morning, I posted on the Edna Walk of Fame page, that Edna was at 991. I just checked and she has gone over 1001 signatures for the Walk of Fame Drive! Arnold Parker was number 1000 and Emily Schenneider wrote,

"A kiss for Edna! The Great Woman!"

Please keep the signatures coming! We will be checking all and will need more to make sure we have the official 1000 needed.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Kurt Coble's 'Metropolis' by P.A.M. Band

Not exactly what I think of as silent film music, but a new twist by the P.A.M. Band (Partially Artificial Musicians) created by violinist, Kurt Coble. List of future performances with 'Metropolis' in the coming months.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Rainbow Orchid author/artist, Garen Ewing, in action signing books

Garen Ewing was at British International Comic Show (BICS) signing his book The Rainbow Orchid. (video thanks to Ray Clenshaw posting online)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Niles Essanay October 2009 Events

Saturday October 3 - 7:30 PM
Suggested donation $5
Jon Mirsalis (piano)
Filmed in Pleasanton
The Home Stretch (1921, Ince) Douglas MacLean came to San Francisco for some scenes in the film, but it was the Pleasanton racetrack that was the main reason for his traveling all the way from the Thomas Ince studio in Culver City.
With shorts:
Seeing Stars (1923) Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin
The Grocery Clerk (1919) Larry Semon

Saturday October 10 - 7:30 PM
Suggested donation $5
Frederick Hodges (piano)
Filmed in Pleasanton
A Woman of the World (1925, Famous Players-Lasky)
Pola Negri plays a countess who visits her American cousin in a small midwestern town, and causes the local gossips to speculate about her reason for being there.
With shorts:
Lizzies of the Field (1924, Sennett) Billy Bevan
Slipping Wives (1927, Roach) Priscilla Dean, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy

Sunday October 11 - 4:00 PM
Suggested donation $5
Laurel & Hardy Matinee
The Midnight Patrol Tent of the “Sons of the
Desert”, the International Laurel & Hardy vintage comedy film appreciation society, will once again be meeting at the Edison Theater at 3:00 pm prior to the films. The public is welcome to attend their friendly, informal and very informative meeting.
The Laurel and Hardy Murder Case (1930, Roach)
Laurel and Hardy go to a haunted mansion hoping to inherit the estate of Stan’s Uncle Ebenezer.
Moan and Groan, Inc. (1929, Roach) Our Gang investigates a haunted house.
Hide and Shriek (1938, Roach) Our Gang detectives Alfalfa, Buckwheat and Porky try to solve a missing candy case.
The Live Ghost (1934, Roach) Laurel and Hardy are recruited to shanghai a crew for a haunted ship.

Saturday October 17 7:30 PM
Suggested donation $5
Judy Rosenberg (piano)
Filmed in Pleasanton
Gigolo (1926, DeMille) Rod La Rocque, a former Chicago Essanay star, shines in the title role of a small town boy who winds up dancing in Paris.
With shorts:
Ring Up the Curtain (1919, Rolin) Harold Lloyd
With Love and Hisses (1927, Roach) Laurel & Hardy

Sunday October 18 - 4:00 PM Free
Transcontinental Connections
Join us for this quarterly “open mike” history/cultural arts forum to share and discover connections among the communities of Southern Alameda County and their contributions to the greater Bay Area, moderated by Niles architect Paul Welschmeyer.

Saturday October 24 7:30 PM
Suggested donation $5
Greg Pane (piano)
Short Subjects Night
He Did and He Didn’t (1915, Keystone) Roscoe
“Fatty” Arbuckle, Mabel Normand
Haunted Spooks (1920, Rolin) Harold Lloyd
The Haunted House (1921, Comique) Buster Keaton
Habeas Corpus (1928) Laurel and Hardy

Sunday, October 25 4:00 PM
Suggested donation $5
Filmed in the Bay Area & KTVU!
Watch Horror Films – Keep America Strong! – A Journey into Creature Features
With short:
Hardware Wars – this classic parody of Star Wars is a local cult favorite
Meet in Person – John Stanley, author and Creature Features host, and Ernie Fosselius, creator of Hardware Wars!


If you live in the bay area or traveling by there, check it out and help support silent film history. Information from the desk of Michael Bonham. Contact the Niles Essanay Museum for more information and/or to get on their mailing list. Thanks, Michael! (Image from Niles Essanay.)

Ken Burn's National Park Series this week!

Part One started on Sunday, but Part Two is TONIGHT. Here is a link to a preview with thoughts from Rudyard Kipling's first impressions of Yellowstone and how he was slowly won over by the beauty. LINK

Update: Just watched Part Two and I found it excellent! Part three Tuesday night.

Update Sept. 29: The National Park Series will be available online each day, until Oct. 9th. Link to Episode One.

Update: Watched Part Three - It included the addition of the volcano national park in Hawaii in 1916, just about one year before Edna and Charlie visited it in 1917.

And, it should be noted, Edna DID visit some of the great national parks during the 1920s! She loved natural areas. In fact, she did a full summer tour, by car with family members, right after filming 'The Woman of the Sea' (The Sea Gull) in 1926. I will double check my notes, but one of her trips went through Yellowstone, I believe, while spending part of her summer on a ranch. She loved it!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Rainbow Orchid available at Springfield Oregon Library

Once your book gets released into the world, you never know who might be checking it out.

Today, Springfield librarian Rita Eberle, has listed Garen Ewing's The Rainbow Orchid into the Springfield City Library collection in Springfield, Oregon. Garen's book is available to check out or to get through interlibrary loan, through the Springfield City Library.

With the help of my EdnaPurviance.org guide section, I purchased a copy and donated the book to the Springfield Library this week. I plan to donate Rainbow Orchid Volumes 2 and 3, when available (Volume 2 is scheduled for release in July 2010).

In time, I hope The Rainbow Orchid will find a new base of fans, who will like to add the book to their collections. Special thanks to Rita for adding The Rainbow Orchid to their library collection today!

List of known libraries The Rainbow Orchid is located:
• Springfield City Library - Springfield, Oregon USA (available for inter-library loan)
• British Library - Wetherby, West Yorkshire, UK
• University of Reading Library - Reading, United Kingdom
• National Library - Singapore

Extra Notes!
For USA buyer, The Rainbow Orchid is available for purchase in the USA from Amazon. Also like to note for USA buyer, it is a good time, at the moment, to check out Garen's shop and get those signed copy editions, T-shirts or special posters.

The exchange rate has drop to $1.59 to buy one £1, which is the best it has been in several months. But exchange rates change often, so do check out The Rainbow Orchid Shop!

Learn more about The Rainbow Orchid by Garen Ewing at this link.

Drawing of Lisa by L. Wada (copyrighted M. Groening character)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Actress Edna May

New website about
Stage Actress and Singer
Edna May

While on a trip, Charles Pascoe came across a postcard with a stamp he liked for his stamp collection. But in time, the picture on the front of the card grabbed his attention even more. With research he learned it was stage actress Edna May.

Edna May was born in Syracuse, New York. She started her stage career in her hometown, before moving to New York City in the mid-1890s.

After a while, she landed a role in the Broadway production of "The Belle of New York" which in time, would send her to London with the same play production.

In London, the show became a hit and made Edna May a star.

Her career continued into the 1910s on stage and she even played in a few silent films before retiring.

Edna May is Charles Pascoe's first website about the star and he plans to add to his site overtime. His research into Edna May is for the love of doing it (the same as Edna Purviance.org began). So we thank Charles for letting us know about his site and we hope you enjoy watching his site grow in the coming years. Link to Edna May

Image from Charles site.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Little update on the Chaplin Keystone films...

September 24, 2009 - I received a message from a loyal fan Edna about the Chaplin Keystone Films. Still looks to be sometime in 2010 (maybe early in the year) and the films will be in one complete set, which is great news for us fans liking to have all the films at once. Will post more, as we know it...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cure for Depression? Charlie Chaplin

NPR with Philip Reeves - An Indian Doctor's Cure-All: "He hands out free DVDs of Charlie Chaplin movies to patients as a cure for depression."

Ashok Awani not only dresses up like Charlie, but sends Chaplin films home with patients feeling depressed. : "...makes them feel better" he says. "Aswani, 59, practices ayurveda, the traditional medical system widely used in India for thousands of years."

Listen to the audio of this story at this NPR link.

The Rainbow Orchid in library soon!

Today, I handed over (in person) one of my copies of The Rainbow Orchid to become part of a library collection soon. More on that soon!

It is very exciting to be able to do this, and I am hoping to photograph Orchid at its new library home in the coming weeks. This will be a USA Library and will be available for inter-library loan. But like I said, more soon!

Update: Just saw someone in the UK offering the 2003 black and white edition of The Rainbow Orchid for £100.00!

Update Sept. 23rd: And thanks again to all the new listeners to The Rainbow Orchid interview with Garen Ewing, as it passes 2500!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Charlie Chaplin and more in Balloon Land

A fun cartoon from 1935, with Charlie Chaplin and more, in Balloon Land. And all in colour.

The family home of Courtland Dines

In the summer of 1923, Edna Purviance met Courtland Dines in Los Angeles. He was the son of a wealthy pioneering lawyer family from Denver, Colorado. Dines was at the end of his first marriage, and was looking to start a new business in oil, when he met Edna.

The couple were rumored to marry, but this affair was all very quiet and private, until the driver for Mabel Normand, a friend of the couple, shot Dines at his Los Angeles home on New Year's Day, 1924, while Edna and Mabel were in the house.

Dines didn't die, but Edna, especially Mabel, took a hit from the press, as news of the shooting screamed into headlines around the world. Edna's film, 'A Woman in Paris' was doing good box office at the time, and even greatly better, in cities, after the shooting, as curious people wanted to see Edna (my finding has disagreed somewhat, with published works over the years about the box office of Paris). But the shooting cause some theatres to ban Mabel films and suspend Edna's 'A Woman of Paris' film in a few states in the US. (Edna's earlier films fared better in part, because Edna's earlier work with Chaplin was hugely popular, and theatres were not ones to lose Chaplin and the money it created.)

After about five months of hearings, the shooter, Greer, was not charged after the very short lived trial started in June 1924, as everyone involved wanted the matter to be placed behind them. But during the trial, Dines didn't show up, as he was called home to be with his father, who was seriously ill, just as the trial start.

So where did Dines go home too? It was his family home in Denver, Colorado, in the Capitol Hill district of Denver.

Dines lived only about a block away from the famous Molly Brown. (If you see the movie with Debbie Reynolds, you hear 'Molly' talking about her neighbors, well in real life, the Dines WAS one of Molly Brown's real neighbors.)

What happened to the family home of Courtland Dines?

I recently had a chance to see his family home on a quick business trip that passed through Denver. I only got to see the outside, but noticed the sign in front called Starkey Institute.

Seeing the name Starkey I thought hearing aids, but later, looking the name up on the web, I found something totally different.

Starkey Institute is the home of what is called the only household management institute in America for the jet set (I don't know if that is fully true, but that is what people report).

In its hey-day (before the bubble popped), the institute sent students to jobs around the world.

While the jobs are fewer now, the rich still are looking for the best trained staffs to run their homes, so Starkey Boot Camp is the place students have a chance to train for this special field.

Just find it interesting to learn Dine's family home, where he knew up, still exists today and serving the wealthy. Their on site video shows scenes of inside Dines home (of course different, somewhat, from Dine's day), but the outside basically the same (brick and stone were very popular building material in Denver).
I have an earlier photo of the home showing few changes.

I doubt Edna ever visited this home, since Dine's parents were not keen on their son having an actress as a girlfriend, but interesting to see a bit of the past associated with Edna, still existing and in use.

A CNBC report about the Starkey Butler Institute:

Here is Starkey's website for a full array of videos about the training at the center (nearly all done in the Dine's former home). Very interesting to see the 'high powered' training students get here.

I don't know how Starkey is doing now in placements, as the high flying days of the growing household manager field is on the decline, as the wealth bubble has deflated. The luxury of having butlers, maids, even full-time gardeners are on the decline, as this 2008 WSJ reports.

But if you are interested in the field, certainly a place to check out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

SP 4449 returns back to Portland!

October 13 - 20th, 2009
Southern Pacific 4449 Returns back to Portland, Oregon
Get your tickets for the journey back from Minneapolis!

Travel back through the fall colour of the Rockies!
A rare trip on the Daylight along the American railways!
See this special SP 4449 web page for more details and tickets.