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Fort Lee in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Solax Studios

Lemoine Ave • Fort Lee, NJ

 

—Film History Was Made Here —

 
Solax Studios Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, March 27, 2014
1. Solax Studios Marker
Inscription.
          The Solax Studio was built in 1912 by Alice Guy Blaché, who had begun directing films for the Gaumont Company in Paris in 1896. In 1907, Leon Gaumont sent Alice and her new husband, Herbert Blaché, to take charge of Gaumont’s operations in the United States, and they opened a studio in Flushing, New York. Alice Blaché started her own company, Solax, in 1910, producing melodramas and one reel comedies in Flushing for the nickelodeon market.

          Solax prospered and moved to Fort Lee two years later, acquiring an acre of land on Lemoine Avenue. The original studio building was approximately 62 feet on each side, with offices and dressing rooms on the lower floors, and a glass-enclosed stage area above. Office buildings and a small laboratory were also constructed. The studio produced an average of two short films every week, ranging from action pictures like “Beasts of the Jungle” to the “Burstup Holmes” comedy detective series. When the market for short films collapsed, the Blachés expanded the laboratory and began making feature pictures in partnership with Popular Plays & Players. Olga Petrova starred in many of these including “The Tigress” and “My Madonna.”

          As the U. S. Amusement Corp.,
Marker in Fort Lee image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, March 27, 2014
2. Marker in Fort Lee
the Blachés also produced and directed features for Pathé Metro, and William Randolph Hearst’s International Film Service. After 1917, the studio was rented to other producers, including Goldwyn, Fox, and Selznick. Francis Doublier’s Hirlagraph Motion Picture Corp. acquired the property after Solax declared bankruptcy in 1922. It later passed to Consolidated Film Industries and Bonded Motion Pictures Properties, who expanded the laboratory and warehouse facilities. The studio building burned in 1929 and most of the remaining buildings were razed in 1965 to make way for a supermarket.
 
Location. 40° 51.403′ N, 73° 57.988′ W. Marker is in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in Bergen County. Marker is on Lemoine Avenue (New Jersey Route 67) south of Lincoln Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Lee NJ 07024, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. World/Peerless & Metropolitan Studios (approx. 0.4 miles away); F. F. Fred Cavaliere (approx. 0.4 miles away); American Éclair Studios (approx. 0.4 miles away); Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge (approx. 0.4 miles away); Protection of the Hudson River
Back of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, March 27, 2014
3. Back of Marker
(approx. 0.4 miles away); Washington’s Retreat to Victory (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Washington’s Retreat to Victory (approx. 0.4 miles away); Willat/Fox & Triangle Studios (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Lee.
 
More about this marker. A photograph at the upper left of the marker has the caption “View from Lemoine Avenue of the Solax studio and laboratory under construction. The gatehouse (left) on the north end of the property still remains today.” The upper right of the marker contains a “Glass Slide of ‘The Peddler’ shot at Solax. A “Poster of Solax’s ‘Brennon of theMoor’ (1913)” is on the lower left of the marker. The lower right of the marker features a photograph of “Alice Guy Blaché with the crew of Solax Studios.”
Along the bottom of the marker are a series of pictures featuring Faces of Solax Studios. These include Alice Guy Blaché (Owner/Director), Herbert Blaché (Owner/Director), Olga Petrova (Actress), Mary Miles Minter (Actress), Magda Foy (“The Solax Kid”), Carlyle Blackwell (Actor), Ethel Barrymore (Actress) and Bessie Love (Actress).
Solax Studios Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, March 27, 2014
4. Solax Studios Marker

 
Categories. Entertainment
 
Marker on Lemoine Avenue image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, March 27, 2014
5. Marker on Lemoine Avenue
The Solax Studios were located where the supermarket in the background now sits.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 440 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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