Keystone Studio - Then & Now

by Bryant Arnett
(click on any image for a larger picture)

Keystone Studio then - looking EastKeystone Studio now - looking East

Chaplin's autobiography describes the Mack Sennett Keystone Studio as existing in a suburb of Los Angeles called Edendale.  After searching through my maps for the city, I came to the conclusion that it simply no longer existed.  Then one day, while driving my usual daily commute down the "Glendale Corridor" where the 2 freeway turns into Glendale Blvd., I glanced over at a post office and noticed the sign on the front:  "U.S. Post Office - Edendale Station."  I could hardly believe that I had been driving right through Edendale for years!  Further research led me to dig up my old copy of Theodore Huff's book "Charlie Chaplin" and I discovered from it that the Keystone Studio was located at 1712 Allesandro Ave.  As it turns out, that particular stretch of Allesandro was now Glendale Blvd. (Allesandro continues a few blocks above and a few blocks below this location, which is now 1712 Glendale Blvd.).  Not only was I driving through Edendale, I was driving right through the center of the Keystone Studio!  The above photos are looking East from Effie Dr. looking across Glendale Blvd.  The large concrete building appears to be the only remaining piece of the original studio.   Closer inspection reveals where the original windows have been plastered over.   The building is now part of a Public Storage company.  I wonder if the people working in the Jack in the Box realize that they might be flipping burgers in the exact spot where the Tramp was born!  I took the above Now photo from the roof of my car.   I am fairly sure that the original photo was taken from the rooftop of a house a bit further back and higher than my location.  I am certain the house was there at the time, since it looks very old and does not appear to have been painted since about 1914.

Kestone Studio then - looking WestKeystone Studio now - looking West

This shot is of the West side of Glendale Blvd.  The studio had expanded to both sides of the street.  The only surviving thing from the Then photo is the two story brick building in the distance. It has now been painted white and contains a very small, very old market and deli. From Chaplin's autobiography…

It was lunchtime and I watched the men and women in their makeup come pouring out of the bungalow, including the Keystone Cops. They crossed the road to a small general store and came out eating sandwiches and hot dogs. Some called after each other in loud, raucous voices: "Hey, Hank, come on!" "Tell Slim to hurry!"

Someday, I will have to stop and get a sandwich or a hot dog at this market.

Keystone Studio then - looking EastKeystone Studio now - looking East

This shot was taken from near the same vantage point as the first picture, but much further back, up a hillside on a narrow staircase that leads up to another street.  The house in the distance at the extreme left, behind the red Jack in the Box sign, is visible in both the Then and the Now shot. This entire area is full of very old buildings and houses.  I suspect that the entire area around the studio was used extensively for location shooting and could be a gold mine for future Then & Now adventures. Hmmmm….

Map to the old Keystone Studio - Click for Yahoo Maps

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This page was created by Bryant Arnett ©1999

Part of the Chaplin Film Locations Then & Now website.