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Summary

The film studio’s worst enemy was fire, thanks to mostly wooden structures and highly flammable negatives, prints and film stock. Fire actually struck the Thanhouser studio on January 13, 1913 and burned the main facility to the ground. Most of the negatives and prints were saved. The fire was reported in newspapers nationwide. Although there were a few shots of smoldering ruins, the cameras arrived too late to film any of the actual fire. Although several Thanhouser players portray themselves in WHEN THE STUDIO BURNED, the story is all fiction from the imagination of Lloyd Lonergan, simply meant to capitalize on the notoriety. The views of the city of New Rochelle are perfectly authentic. As luck would have it, Thanhouser had just opened a studio in Los Angeles, and had just set up production in Chicago, so it was able to continue its schedule of releases without interruption as the replacement facilities were constructed.

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