More than one-hundred silent films were made in St. Augustine from 1906 to 1926. During that time, most of the movie companies were located in the New York City area. They would take advantage of the sunshine and warm weather in Florida in the winter time and send crews to make movies. St. Augustine provided ready-made scenes for European or other exotic subjects. Anastasia Island’s beach could stand in for the Sahara desert.
Theda Bara became an overnight sensation for her “vamp” movie “A Fool There Was”, the first of four films she wold make in St. Augustine. Other stars such as Tom Mix, Ethel Barrymore, Oliver Hardy, and Rudolph Valentino also appeared here. When the movie industry moved to California, St. Augustine’s days as a film center ended.
For more information on this free event, phone 904-824-2872. Presented by St. Augustine Historical Society at Flagler College.