Selig Polyscope week at White City Cinema concludes with a podcast of a trip I recently made to the lone original Selig Polyscope building at 3900 N. Claremont Ave. on Chicago’s northwest side. Following our recent Essanay Expedition, I headed to the former site of the Selig Polyscope Co. with my fellow Traveling Mystery Solvers Adam Selzer and Hector Reyes. Although the building has recently been converted into condos, we were granted access to the interior by Mike, one of the current tenants, who graciously agreed to give us a tour.
Inside Selig Polyscope!
The top two floors of the building have been extensively renovated. When it was being used as a film studio a century ago the roof was made entirely of glass (not unlike a greenhouse). This was because the monochromatic film stock of the time was notoriously insensitive to light; interior shooting required massive amounts of light in order for the early cinematographers to achieve a proper exposure.
3900 N. Claremont circa 1907 (note the glass roof):
The same building as seen today (note how the bottom two floors are nearly identical to the photograph above):
Photographs by Adam Selzer
Listen to the podcast of Adam, Hector and me discussing the building as we tour it: Colonel Selig’s Moving Picture Plant Podcast
Also, check out Adam’s post on the same topic at his terrific Chicago Unbelievable blog
April 22nd, 2011 at 7:35 am
March 24th, 2014 at 9:24 am
Thank you so much for all of this great info. I’ve lived within 15 miles of this area most of my 65yrs life and knew nothing about this I know the rest of my area history bit nothing about my own back yard go figure.just when you think you know it all you you find out. Not so much. Now that I’m done feeling stupid or better yet uninformed. I like that much better. I want to thank you again