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Studio working to preserve silent film in Chicago

By Emily Study

On a busy Friday afternoon, some might think of going to the movie theater and seeing the latest motion picture.

But the movie industry in Chicago looks a lot different than it did 100 years ago.

Essanay Studios is one of the world’s first and last remaining silent film studios, but many people don’t know anything about it.

In 1996, the city of Chicago landmarked Essanay Studios as the most historically significant building related to Chicago’s part in the motion picture industry.

Essanay Studios is now occupied by St. Augustine College, which launched a campaign on October 10 to raise money to repair and renovate the iconic terra cotta entryway as well as Charlie Chaplin Auditorium.

Using the crowd funding site called Indiegogo, St. Augustine College posted a video to show viewers the importance of Essanay and why the college is renovating the complex.

Fans of the studio have until Dec. 3 to donate money to save the studio.

(Video by Emily Study; old video footage and music courtesy of igg.me/at/essanay)


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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.