“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jacksonville in Duval County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Norman Silent Film Studios

Norman Silent Film Studios Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, September 25, 2014
1. Norman Silent Film Studios Marker
Inscription. While Jacksonville bustled with the activity of motion picture filming during the years 1908 through 1916, by the early 1920s little of the industry remained in town. However, over on Laura Street in the Springfield section of Jacksonville, brothers Richard, Bruce and Earl Norman continued to produce silent films. After the untimely death of Earl in 1919, Bruce went on to other enterprises, but Richard Norman was to ultimately establish a permanent place in movie history.

Norman purchased the former Eagle Film City property in Arlington, Florida, in 1922. Recognizing the need and market for non-derogatory films for African-American audiences, Norman Film Manufacturing Company produced full-length adventure films featuring all-black casts using professionally-trained actors. At a time when blacks were stereotyped and demeaned in mainstream movies, in Norman's films, black characters were heroes and heroines, leaders and lovers.

Several of Norman's films were shot at his Arlington location, including Regeneration and the Flying Ace. The only known surviving Norman film, The Flying Ace starred Lawrence Criner and Kathryn Boyd, two of the leading black actors of their day, and was touted as "the greatest airplane thriller ever filmed," though all airplane scenes were shot on the ground using a prop plane. The Bull-Dogger,
Norman Silent Film Studios Marker seen with studio building image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, September 25, 2014
2. Norman Silent Film Studios Marker seen with studio building
one of the most famous Norman films, was filmed in the all-black town of Boley, Oklahoma, and starred Bill Pickett, the famed black rodeo performer credited with inventing the sport of bulldogging.

Norman continued to make feature films through 1928, ultimately inventing a system that synchronized sound with moving images. He had sold fewer than 20 units when a competitor introduced a sound-on-film system that made Norman's invention obsolete. Norman continued his film career, however, producing industrial films and distributing other producers' works until his death in 1960.
Erected 2009 by A grant from Comcast through Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Location. 30° 20.019′ N, 81° 35.614′ W. Marker is in Jacksonville, Florida, in Duval County. Marker is at the intersection of Arlington Road and Westdale Drive, on the right when traveling west on Arlington Road. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6327 Arlington Road, Jacksonville FL 32211, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jacksonville And The Movie Industry (here, next to this marker); Frederick W. Bruce (approx. 0.2 miles away); Millers Creek (approx. 2.8 miles away); "Mother" Midway A.M.E. Church (approx. 2.9 miles away); The Mungen House (approx. 3.1 miles away); Old Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Home (approx. 3.3 miles away); Site of Cow Ford (approx. 3.6 miles away); Duval County's First Court (approx. 3.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Jacksonville.
Categories. Entertainment
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 133 times since then. Last updated on , by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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