Fort Lee in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
American Éclair Studios
Linwood Avenue • Fort Lee, NJ
— Film History Was Made Here —
In 1911, the Société Francaise des Films et Cinematographs Éclair purchased land on the west side of Linwood Avenue for the construction of a motion picture studio in downtown Fort Lee. Éclair was a manufacturer of film and film apparatus founded in Paris in 1907. Their Fort Lee studio, a greenhouse-like structure with a 60 by 30 foot stage, was intended to produce short films for the growing American nickelodeon market. French technicians, including director Etienne Arnaud, cameraman Lucien Andriot, and set designer Ben Carré, communicated with their American employees through the aid of an interpreter.
Films made here in 1912 included “Robin Hood,” “The Raven,” and “Saved from the Titanic,” in which Éclair star Dorothy Gibson recreated her escape from the doomed liner immediately following her rescue. That same year Éclair sent pioneer film animator Emile Cohl to Fort Lee, where he produced the first animated cartoon series, “The Newlyweds,” featuring Baby Snookums. Poster artists employed by Éclair included the
Éclair expanded their studio and film laboratory in 1913, but on March 19, 1914 the laboratory was destroyed by fire when the flammable nitrate film ignited. Some Éclair personnel returned to France, while others joined Jules Brulatour’s new Peerless studio on Lewis Street. The Fox Film Corporation, which operated several studios in New Jersey, eventually took over the reconstructed facility, which until its abandonment in 1926, was known as Éclair-Fox.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1871.
Location. 40° 51.305′ N, 73° 58.433′ W. Marker is in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in Bergen County. Marker is on Linwood Avenue. Marker is located in Constitution Park in Fort Lee. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Lee NJ 07024, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. F. F. Fred Cavaliere (within shouting distance of this marker); Willat/Fox & Triangle Studios (within shouting distance of this marker); World/Peerless & Metropolitan Studios (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge (about 300 feet away); Washington’s Retreat to Victory (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Washington’s Retreat to VictoryWashington’s Retreat to Victory (approx. 0.3 miles away); Solax Studios (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Lee.
More about this marker. Several images appear on the marker, including a photo of American Éclair Studios on Linwood Avenue, an Original movie poster for Éclair’s “The Raven,” Original tinted nitrate film frames from “Robin Hood,” a bulletin published by Éclair Studios for exhibitors, and a photo of the crew of American Éclair/Peerless Studios.
Along the bottom of the marker are a series of pictures featuring Faces of American Éclair Studios. These include Robert Frazer (Actor), Francis Doublier (Cinematographer), Barbara Tennant (Actress), Muriel Ostriche (Actress), Dorothy Gibson (Actress), Emile Cohl (Animator), and Baby Snookums (Animation).
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,081 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 27, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.