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Balboa Films, 1913-1918

Balboa Amusement Producing Company, 1913-18

The Horkheimer Brothers purchased the CMPMC in April 1913. Five years later, after a meteoric rise and spectacular heyday, the studio went into receivership, March 25, 1918, stunning the movie business, eventually going up for sale in October 1918. The italicized film companies below belonged to the Horkheimer Bros.

Film Companies:

Distributors:

Balboa Amusement Producing Company Alliance
BS Moss
Box Office Attraction Company (BOA)
Eclectic
Mutual
Paramount Pictures
Pathé Exchange
Triangle
University Film Company
Warner’s Features, Inc.
Comique Film Corporation (Arbuckle) Paramount Pictures
Equitable Motion Pictures Corporation World Film Corporation
Falcon Features General Film Company
Fortune Photoplay General Film Company
Gold Rooster Plays Pathé Exchange
Joy Box Office Attraction Company (BOA)
Kalem General Film Company
Knickerbocker Star General Film Company
Nemo Box Office Attraction Company (BOA)
Oakdale Production General Film Company
Panama Pathé Exchange
Pathéplay General Film Company
Plaza Pictures Hodkinson
Selig General Film Company
Vim General Film Company
White Star Box Office Attraction Company (BOA)

No synopsis is given in the following filmography, but the reader will be able to find extensive annotation in Lemoine’s Balboa Studios: A Filmography and additional information in Jura and Bardin’s Balboa Films.

Filmography: Balboa Amusement Producing Company, 1913-1918

To view a wide assortment of photos and artifacts on these actors and selected films produced at Balboa Studio, please click on the link below, “Gallery of Balboa Movie Photos and Artifacts“:

Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle Myrtle Reeves
Baby Marie Ruth Roland
Henry King Jackie Saunders
Lillian Lorraine Henry Walthall

Gallery of Balboa Movie Photos and Artifacts:

  1. Glass Slides in color:  used as Balboa “trailers” in the silent era for upcoming films
  2. Diverse lobby cards (stills of Balboa movies)
  3. Letter signed by H. M. Horkheimer, Balboa president, giving raise to Myrtle Reeves, wife of Oliver Hardy, on studio letterhead
  4. Memorabilia from Baby Marie’s Scrapbook, a treasure trove
  5. Balboa miscellaneous: pins, sheet music to accompany Balboa films, tickets to studio functions/studio balls/ball games (Balboa was part of an early Hollywood baseball league)
  6. Myriad photos, e.g., “A Day with Neal of the Navy,” from The Moving Picture World, Sept. 25, 1915
  7. Cartoons, e.g., “Roscoe Arbuckle of Long Beach,” Working in his latest comedy, Long Beach Daily Telegram, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 1918
  8. Arbuckle poster for Paramount (filmed at Balboa Studios), Out West

Balboa Research–Thierry Lemoine:

Identifying Balboa productions is an archeological task, digging under layers of scattered dust, though Thierry Lemoine, a diligent, globetrotting, cross-referencing researcher, has produced a detailed Balboa filmography (237+ films) and written a book on Henry King, entitled Henry King: Le Réalisateur Volant. Thierry, a member of the Balboa Advisory Board, has generously offered to post on this Balboa website his detailed filmography and an excerpt from his book, the fourth chapter covering King’s years at Balboa.

Thierry Lemoine’s 1999 filmography, entitled Balboa Films: A Filmography lists the total of 237+ productions for 1913-1918 alone, not including productions at the same studio site once called the California Motion Picture Manufacturing Company (1910-1913) , followed by various other film companies using Balboa Studio between 1918-1922 after the Horkheimers faced insolvency (1918) and ceased their own Balboa film production.

Archives used by Lemoine:

Lemoine’s extensive research was conducted at the following archives:

Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal (Paris)
British Film Institute Library (London)
Free Library (Philadelphia)
Library of Congress (Washington)
Long Beach Public Library (Long Beach)
Margaret Herrick Library (Beverly Hills)
New York Public Performing Arts Library (New York City)

In Lemoine’s research, some of the consulted periodicals were British, but most of them were American. Since the Balboa Studio was fully independent and without any long-term connection with a large US exchange company, it must be emphasized that some pictures, including features, never got a national release. Some of them were presented in England, but not in the U.S., while others probably only knew a limited and regional release. For example, this is the case of the first five-reel feature directed by Henry King, The Brand of Man (1915), totally unknown in every periodical listed below, and therefore also unknown in the AFI Catalog.

Other Sources–Lemoine:

AFI Catalog, Feature Films, 1911-1920
American Film-Inde
x by Einar Lauritzen & Gunnar Lundquist
Balboa Films by Jean-Jacques Jura and Rodney Norman Bardin
Copyright entries at the Library of Congress
De Pathé Frères à Pathé Cinéma (Henri Bousquet, France)
House Organs of Pathé Frères et Pathé Exchange (U.S., U.K.), Selig, Kalem,
Press Clippings from the Balboa Press (Christine Burnett, Long Beach Public Library)
William Desmond Taylor by Bruce Long

Balboa Research–Jura and Bardin:

Jura and Bardin’s research also involves Balboa productions, 1913-1918, as well as movie production prior to the establishment of the Balboa Amusement Producing Company, namely the preceding California Motion Picture Manufacturing Company (1910-1913) at the very same site, and after 1918, those productions during the last five years of studio production in Long Beach (1918-1923).

Jura and Bardin—Additional Sources:

Bousquet, Henri. De Pathé Frères à Pathé Cinéma:  Catalogue 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918.  Paris: Édition Henri Bousquet, 1999.
Burnett, Claudine. Program Guide: Rediscovering Long Beach’s Film Heritage. Long Beach Public Library, Nov. 9, 1996.Combes, Helen. “Bill’s Sweetheart.” The Kinetogram.  May 1913:  4 &16.
Kallan, Carla. “Pioneer Policewoman.” The Fedco Reporter.  May 12-30, 1999:  44.
Williams, Tony. Letter to the authors. January 12, 2000.