Studio History

You Are Here Home » Blog » Studio History

100 Years Ago: Selig Movie Flyer

100 years ago this week the Selig Movie Special left Northwestern Station in Chicago.  On July, 8th 1915, Selig Polyscope Company charted a private train to be known as The Selig Movie Special (sometimes referred to as the Selig Movie Flyer) to take theater owners and industry people from Chicago to the National League of Motion Picture Exhibitor’s conference in San Francisco.  The cost for the round trip was $128.00 for a 17 day trip.  This included the train ride, hotels and the stops the train made along the way.  Some of the sights that passengers saw along the way were the Grand Canyon, Pikes Peak, Denver, silver mines, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco.  They also toured the Selig Polyscope West Coast Studios and Selig Zoo.  This week we will be showing you trade ads and pictures from and about the trip on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.    

By | 2015-07-06T15:15:38+00:00 July 6th, 2015|Selig Polyscope Company, Studio History|0 Comments

BOOK INTERVIEW: Hollywood on Lake Michigan

There are very few books out there which talk about the Selig Polyscope Company and it's contributions to the motion picture industry.  The book "Hollywood on Lake Michigan" takes a look at Chicago's film history.  From William Selig to Batman, you will get a taste of film making in the Windy City.  In case you did not know, the Selig Polyscope Company was founded in Chicago in 1896. In this video which aired on PBS in Chicago, authors Michael Corcoran and Arnie Bernstein talks about all aspects of filmmaking in the Windy City.  They share some great facts and tidbits about films like HOME ALONE and THE BLUES BROTHERS.  For all of you Selig fans, you will hear one of the best stories about William Selig we have ever heard.  I won't give it away but it is well worth the time to watch and find out!    The book is out and you can find it at your favorite bookseller.   The image above is from the Michael and Kate Corcoran Collection.      

By | 2017-02-23T14:10:13+00:00 September 13th, 2013|Selig Polyscope Company, Studio History|3 Comments

1914: Selig Money Makers For You with TO BE CALLED FOR and PAWN TICKET “913”

This week in Selig History!  The year is 1914 and the Selig Polyscope Company was promoting films such as WHO KILLED GEORGE GRAVES, TO BE CALLED FOR, THE HOUSE WENT CRAZY and PAWN TICKET "913".  In this ad Selig also promotes lithographed posters for your billboards and lobby.  Stay tuned for more company news and look back at more studio history.   Source:

By | 2013-08-27T12:18:48+00:00 August 27th, 2013|Selig Polyscope Company, Studio History|0 Comments

1916: Notice To Exhibitors

When we re-established the studio one of our missions was to preserve and educate the studio's history.  This is an ad out of a trade magazine called MOTION PICTURE WORLD.  This ad tells of Selig's move to a new releasing agency.  We hope you have enjoyed this look into our studio history.  Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for more historical blog postings. Source:

By | 2017-02-23T14:10:13+00:00 August 13th, 2013|Selig Polyscope Company, Studio History|0 Comments

Selig Polyscope Tom Mix Films at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood

If you are in Los Angeles area this Saturday evening (June 8, 2013) you can see some of Selig Polyscope’s Tom Mix western films at the Egyptian Theatre as part of the American Cinematheque’s Retro Format Films on 8mm series.  Below is the write up for the event and ticket information. Tom Mix - Back In The Saddle Retro Format Films On 8mm Presents Retro Format is proud to present an evening of rarely screened films with the legendary Tom Mix, one of the most famous showmen of early 20th-century America. A sampling of pioneer producer William Selig's extremely popular Tom Mix shorts from almost a century ago - including “An Arizona Wooing” (1915, 23 min.), “A Bear of a Story” (1916, 13 min.) and “Roping a Bride” (1916, 11 min.) - will be followed by one of Mix's most successful features, JUST TONY. With live piano accompaniment by Cliff Retallick. Tickets:   Image Source:  

By | 2013-06-05T16:24:43+00:00 June 5th, 2013|Selig Polyscope Company, Studio History|2 Comments

Selig Polyscope Company Baseball Club – 1908

Tonight is opening night of the 2013 baseball season.  The Texas Rangers and Houston Astros will play tonight in Houston.  With opening night we thought we would share some Selig baseball history. The Selig Polyscope Company was founded in 1896 in Chicago which is a big baseball town.  Like many companies today the Selig Polyscope Company had its own baseball club.  This picture comes from the William Selig papers archive at the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences.  The picture was taken in 1908 in front of the Selig studios in Chicago. Check back often as we will share more of the rich history of the Selig Polyscope Company. Image description: The Selig Polyscope Company baseball club pose in uniform, ca. 1908. 8x10 b&w photographic print. Image Source:      

By | 2013-03-31T15:36:27+00:00 March 31st, 2013|Selig Polyscope Company, Studio History|0 Comments

Happy 149th Birthday, Colonel!

Happy 149th Birthday, Colonel!  William N. Selig was born March 14, 1864, in Chicago, Illinois to Joseph and Antonia Selig at 10 Kramer Street.  After a trip to Dallas in 1894, where he saw a demo of Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope, he went back to Chicago and started to work on a projector of his own.  He founded the Selig Polyscope Company in April of 1896.  Colonel William N. Selig became a pioneer in the formation of the motion picture industry.  A lot of his ideas, techniques as well as the foundations he laid are still used today.   Here are some facts about the Colonel: He was a vaudeville magician and his act was “Selig The Conjurer” Married Mary Pinkham in 1899. Founded the Selig Polyscope Company in 1896. Made the first industrial film for meatpacking king Philip D. Armour in 1900. In 1909 Selig was the first producer to expand film-making operations to the West Coast, where he set up studio facilities in the Edendale area of Los Angeles with director Francis Boggs. In 1911 he was shot and wounded during a homicide at his Los Angeles studio. Built the largest private zoo in the world. Responsible for developing [...]

By | 2017-02-23T14:10:14+00:00 March 14th, 2013|Selig Polyscope Company, Studio History|1 Comment

It all started with a crazy question….Reestablishing The Selig Polyscope Company

It all started with a crazy question in my mind. What would the Selig Polyscope Company look like today if it was still around? That question first appeared in my mind back in 2006 after doing a lot of reading and research on Col. William Selig and the Selig Polyscope Company. I was addicted to the Selig story and read everything I could on Selig and his company. Col. Selig was my type of man. He didn’t take no for an answer and was always four steps ahead of everyone else. He was a thinker, inventor, businessman and showman. Around this time my friend John Strange (later business partner) got me involved in the AFI Dallas International Film Festival. There I was very involved in the festival in many ways. I met a lot of great people and in talking to them I found a common theme. Besides being filmmakers most of the people I met were small business owners and there was a lack of digital services for the film community and their small businesses. Asking more questions and doing a lot of homework, I found that there was a void we could fill. This void was a need [...]

By | 2017-02-23T14:10:14+00:00 June 23rd, 2012|Selig Polyscope Company, Studio History|0 Comments

Pin It on Pinterest