Fremont, California: Niles Essanay Silent Film MuseumBefore Hollywood, a silent film studio convenient to San Francisco produced hundreds of "Chasers." Five films starred Charlie Chaplin, who devised his Tramp character here. Museum runs silent films with live piano music every weekend.
- 37417 Niles Blvd., Fremont, CA
- Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. From San Francisco, take 880 South, exit at Alvarado Niles Road and head east about six miles. Between G St. and H St.
- Sa-Su Noon-4 pm, Sa night silent movies. (Call to verify)
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
Visitor Tips and News About Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
This past weekend the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum conducted their annual Charlie Chaplin Days event. Chaplin films ran in the museum's theater all day, and special screenings were accompanied by a live score from a pianist. There were tours by characters in period costume, games for kids, and a Chaplin lookalike contest. Chaplin shot five films here in 1915.
Charlie Chaplin Days is scheduled sometime in May or June each year, but the museum runs silent films every weekend with live piano.[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 06/06/2011]
The Niles district prides itself as the home of the movie making industry BEFORE Hollywood. The District used to be called Niles Station and was a busy rail junction. In the silent film days, many films were shot in Niles featuring legendary actors Ben Turpin, Fatty Arbuckle and even Charlie Chaplin. The district hosts an annual Charlie Chaplin Days celebration. You can't swing a dead cat in Niles without hitting something that resembles Chaplin. On the sidewalks around town they have painted markers noting where different movies were shot, and a Niles version of the Hollywood walk of fame, with painted stars enclosing the name of famous silent film actors.[Kelly Doren, 03/28/1999]
The Walk of Fame, which was spray-painted, vanished when the town replaced their sidewalks.