Film & TV
People on car 2
of ride 3
Last Photos of the Pike
The Pike today
& Film of the Pike
Municipal Auditorium & Rainbow Pier
SUMMERTIME AT THE PIKE
Background: All About
Movie and TV Shows from 1902 - 1979
film industry started in Long Beach in the 1900’s.
Beach offered an ideal setting for the motion picture
industry. Many silent stars and directors began their careers
at Balboa Studios which was located at Sixth Street and Alamitos Avenue
in Long Beach.
right: Charlie Chaplin at camera; Lou Anger, manager for Arbuckle; H.M.
Horkheimer; and Buster Keaton. Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle
produced 5 movies at Balboa Studios in Long Beach, CA, while Chaplin
visited the Studios on three separate occasions.
were eight film houses and two stock company theaters along The
Pike. In 1908, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was singing in Long
Beach and even got married on stage the same year at the successful
Byde A Whyle Theater next to the Hotel Virginia.
Studios was like a city within the city of Long Beach with 20 buildings
on 8 acres downtown, with 11 additional acres for outdoor shooting on
Signal Hill. The studio became Long Beach's biggest employer and
tourist attraction with as many as 10 movie companies shooting
simultaneously at the studios using silent stars like William Desmond
Taylor, Theda Bara, Baby Marie Osborne, Jackie Saunders, Henry King,
Ruth Roland, and Lewis Cody. Adding to the success were the
directors, writers, and a unique film distribution system of Fox
Pictures and Pathé.
1921, oil was discovered in Long Beach and derricks popped up
everywhere, even in The Pike parking lot. The land then
became too valuable, and the film studios moved to Hollywood.
a postscript, while oil ended the film industry in Long Beach, it wound
up saving the film industry itself. The film used on
the old silent movies was composed of a nitrate base that decomposed in
a short period of time. 80% of all the silent movies in the
world and 40% of all movies produced prior to 1952 have disappeared due
to nitrate decomposition and neglect. Oil has given us the
plastics to make the film we enjoy today.
Some of the stars, films and TV shows made at The Pike:
Stars who filmed at The Pike:
Elvis, Abbott & Costello, Tyrone Power, Vincent Price, Eddie
Cantor, and Kim Novak
Silent Sunrise, Sugar Daddies (1927), Life Hesitates at 40 (1935), Strike Me Pink (1936), Gorilla at Large (1954), It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963).
Barnaby Jones, Mannix, Cannon, Rockford Files, Six Million Dollar Man with Lee Majors, and Bill Bixby starring in the The Magician.
Please let me know if you have additional information - for example,
names of the films for the stars listed above.
550 Films and TV shows using Long Beach California, USA as a location.
Return to The Pike Home
Return to Millikan
Design & Updates
Entire contents of
this Web site ©
All rights reserved.