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Arts and Entertainment

Photo Gallery: Capturing Tinseltown's History at Mack Sennett Studios

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Old Hollywood history is reborn as Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake has officially re-opened under the direction of Grammy-nominated producer Jesse Rogg. The sleek, full-service production facility pays homage to its past—a long time considering the studio first opened its doors in 1916.

Sennett, an actor, director and producer, was one of the major silent film pioneers, best known for bringing his brand of slapstick comedy to audiences. He produced more than 1,000 silent films, notably the Keystone Cops films between 1912-1917.

Though Sennett’s more famous Keystone Film Company was actually located on Glendale Boulevard, in Echo Park, these soundstages were first used by silent film star and Sennett’s ex-girlfriend Mabel Normand, often credited with being one of the industry’s first first female screenwriters, producers and directors. (He had given her the studio and production company after their breakup in an often-tumultuous relationship.) Under the name of The Mabel Normand Feature Film Company, she and Sennett produced the feature film Mickey (1918) at the soundstages. Later, the studio was leased to silent film cowboy William S. Hart.

LAist had a chance to check out the studios first-hand at the opening-night party on Saturday, which had the usual music-drinks-dance mix, but more notably, also featured hand-cranked Sennett short films accompanied by a pianist on one soundstage.

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The photo gallery, above, is a sampling of Mack Sennett studios, past and present.