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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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It Never Rains in California: 1912

It Never Rains in California: 1912

Sunny Venice, Calif., circa 1912. "Hotel St. Mark and street." At the Aquarium on the pier: "Seal fed daily at 2 p.m." 5x7 inch glass negative. View full size.

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Below is the same view from November of 2016.

Not much left

There's more of this gingerbread left along Main Street, just south of the Santa Monica line. But only a few fragments.

I see Venice almost every day, and it's striking how much uglier it is now. It's like the pod people took over.

More Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd in Venice

The Venice Events board to the left of center lists several attractions where the great stars filmed.

First on the list is the Venice Aquarium, which appears behind Charlie Chaplin during this shot from The Adventurer (1917) (see below - the sign behind him reads "MUIRAQUA" - it's the back of the AQUARIUM sign).

Next on the list is The Venice Miniature Railway, where Harold Lloyd filmed at least two movies. You can read about the railway at the end of this blog post.

Lastly, the Venice Plunge plays a major role in Buster Keaton's early MGM triumph The Cameraman (1928). You can read about the plunge at the end of this post.

John's Great Blog!

John, I've looked at your blog many times, and greatly enjoyed it. The filming locations of those great silent flicks is fascinating to me. Just wanted to say that your work is much respected and appreciated!

Venice Silent Film Spot - Keaton, Chaplin, Lloyd

The great silent film comedians Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd all filmed frequently in Venice, as I explain in my books.

Here is a movie frame from Buster Keaton's The High Sign that shows the Hotel St. Mark in the background. As I show in my book Silent Echoes, Keaton filmed many scenes at this locale.

This blog post below tells about Chaplin filming Kid Auto Races in Venice in 1914, his first screen appearance as the Little Tramp.


Hotel St. Mark is long gone

But its next door neighbor seems to still be there (although unfortunately stripped of much of its fancy gingerbread).

So Where's the Cat?

Lower left corner: Tweety's owner!

Not too bad!

I knew Venice was built with canals, but I did not know that they also tried to make it resemble the original Venice architecturally as well. It's not a bad imitation, actually, at least for this block or so.

Bizarre Service?

Note the partially visible sign on one of the vehicles parked on the viewer's right. I suppose it is advertising some local cabaret, but what's visible suggests that, for a suitable fee of course, a quartet motors to your home to sing the latest ditties for your edification and amusement.

["At the" would seem to preclude the latter. - tterrace]

I agree, now that I can read the fine print.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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