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Balboa Research Archives

Balboa logo

This archival website
is dedicated to the memory of the
Horkheimer Brothers,
Herbert Morris Horkheimer and Elwood David Horkheimer,
and of all who worked so loyally at Balboa Studios.
These talented pioneers of silent movies gave
Long Beach and the world an unforgettable legacy.
Jean-Jacques Jura

H. M. Horkheimer, President and General manager, at his office deskElwood Horkheimer and Balboa cameraman outside studio

H. M. Horkheimer to the left and his brother, Elwood D. Horkheimer, Balboa’s treasurer and secretary.

Mission Statement: To create online at California State University, Long Beach a resource network to preserve Balboa Studio’s contributions to world-class cinema, 1910-1923, and to promote research among scholars, students and the public, making accessible across continents the silent era’s pioneering film heritage.

Goals: 1) The website connects globally with film institutions and scholars, allowing exchange and access to the broad scope of early movie history, with the advisory board serving as a clearing house to review and cross-reference information before posting it on the Balboa website; 2) the website also promotes Balboa’s heritage in silent film symposia and festivals, providing opportunities for continuing education and enrichment among scholars, students, and the public.

Making Film History at Long Beach:

Between 1913 and 1918, Balboa soared as the most productive independent studio in the world, and its enormous success in studio management, along with its innovations in photography, publicity, and world-wide distribution, contributed significantly to California’s eventual supremacy as the film capital of the world.

Many illustrious names were also associated with Long Beach’s pioneering film plant, including Jack London, William Fox, Fatty Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Ruth Roland, Jackie Saunders, Lillian Lorraine, Baby Marie Osborne, Henry King, William Desmond Taylor, to name but a few.

Balboa produced such silent hits as St. Elmo, and a good number of popular serials, such as The Red Circle and the Little Mary Sunshine series with child star, Baby Marie, the socially-conscious and daring serial Who Pays?, starring Ruth Roland and Henry King, followed by the serial The Neglected Wife, and Paramount’s first serial ever released, Who Is ‘Number One’?, starring Kathleen Clifford,

The Unfinished Story of Balboa

Important Milestones

Long Beach, “Hollywood by the Sea”

Publicity page, 1918 (courtesy of Marc Wanamaker).

Publicity page, 1918 (courtesy of Marc Wanamaker).

Studio Publicity with Artifacts and Photos, 1913-1918:

1913

1914

1915

1916

1917

1918