Norman Silent Film Studios

Norman Silent Film Studios (HM1R3M)

Location: Jacksonville, FL 32211 Duval County
Country: United States of America

N 30° 20.019', W 81° 35.614'

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While Jacksonville bustled with the activity of motion picture filming during the years 1908 through 1916, by the early 1920s little of the industry remained in town. However, over on Laura Street in the Springfield section of Jacksonville, brothers Richard, Bruce and Earl Norman continued to produce silent films. After the untimely death of Earl in 1919, Bruce went on to other enterprises, but Richard Norman was to ultimately establish a permanent place in movie history.

Norman purchased the former Eagle Film City property in Arlington, Florida, in 1922. Recognizing the need and market for non-derogatory films for African-American audiences, Norman Film Manufacturing Company produced full-length adventure films featuring all-black casts using professionally-trained actors. At a time when blacks were stereotyped and demeaned in mainstream movies, in Norman's films, black characters were heroes and heroines, leaders and lovers.

Several of Norman's films were shot at his Arlington location, including Regeneration and the Flying Ace. The only known surviving Norman film, The Flying Ace starred Lawrence Criner and Kathryn Boyd, two of the leading black actors of their day, and was touted as "the greatest airplane thriller ever filmed," though all airplane scenes were shot on the ground using a prop plane. The Bull-Dogger, one of the most famous Norman films, was filmed in the all-black town of Boley, Oklahoma, and starred Bill Pickett, the famed black rodeo performer credited with inventing the sport of bulldogging.

Norman continued to make feature films through 1928, ultimately inventing a system that synchronized sound with moving images. He had sold fewer than 20 units when a competitor introduced a sound-on-film system that made Norman's invention obsolete. Norman continued his film career, however, producing industrial films and distributing other producers' works until his death in 1960.
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HM NumberHM1R3M
Year Placed2009
Placed ByA grant from Comcast through Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, March 17th, 2016 at 9:03am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 442943 N 3355906
Decimal Degrees30.33365000, -81.59356667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 20.019', W 81° 35.614'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 20' 1.14" N, 81° 35' 36.84" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)904
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6337-6399 Arlington Rd, Jacksonville FL 32211, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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