Roseland, The First Studio

“Roseland, during the height of the season was the liveliest place imaginable. If the Webers, a family of acrobats, were not practicing their act on the lawn before the veranda, the man with the trained goats was putting his animals through their tricks, a juggler was practicing his stunts, or the trained dogs were perfecting themselves.

Interior of Kalem Studio at Roseland for its formal opening in 1915. Composite photograph taken near entrance of studio looking lengthwise through studio in eastern direction, the back lot leading to the St. Johns River.

Weaving in and out everywhere moving-picture actors in all sorts of make-up lent color to the bizarre scene. We all made up in our rooms and came to breakfast in our characters for the day. Six-thirty was our morning call when the weather was fine. On the evening before starting a new production we would all gather in Mr. Olcott’s room, the scenario would be read aloud and the characters allotted. Then would ensue a discussion of how each one was to make up.

"Helen Lindroth, Leo (something) and Harry Parramore (wearing a a real stove pipe for a hat). Helen Lindroth was Miss Lindroth or just Nellie and she never married. She was a wonderful woman and actress, and later devoted her life to work in the church, the First Church of Christ Science on Boston." Jesse Ruth Snow, Kalem actress

At breakfast next day the make-ups would be commended or criticized, as called for, and changes would be made willingly and without hurt. Indeed I may say that in all the subsequent Kalem stock companies, for of course the personnel changed from year to year, this charming spirit of helpfulness, of give-and-take, this freedom from jealousy and envy, the quick word of praise for especially good work, always held. We acknowledged no real star or leading people. First one and then another player would be given the outstanding role, and I, as scenario writer, saw to it that the turns of each came regularly. The leading people in one play were often given small roles in the next while a strong star part would then fall to the character man or woman.”  Gene Gauntier

Film Story Tellers was created by Third Act Films, who produce video biography and commissioned documentary productions.

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