Providencia Ranch

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Oak Crest- Universal City 1912

Early map of Burbank, California with Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills on the bottom left

Early Providencia Ranch -[edit]

  • A Movie ranch called the largest in the world by the trade Journals . The Lantern Movie research website contains the needed inline references to clarify this story of this Ranch land before it became part of today's Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
  • The Providencia Land and Water Development Company' property, is of significant History in the San Fernando Valley Movie History California, USA.
  • Why ?as a major filming location for some early motion pictures; most notably for battle scenes in the silent classic about the American Civil War, The Birth of a Nation (1915).and as a Movie Ranch.
  • Trade Paper articles on the http://lantern.mediahist.org - using key words : Oak Crest - Universal Ranch - Universal City - Universal Bison Plant - Lasky Ranch - Swanson - Otis Turner - Universal Bison Litigation are a few

Providencia Ranch Movie History -[edit]

  • The Movie ranch was once consider the movie largest in the world by the trade Journals . The Moving Picture World - Aug. 31, 1912 - Page 870 -
  • Oak Crest was created as Universal first ranch due to the need to produce Universal Brand pictures. IN 1912, New York Motion Picture Company left Universal taking the Bison Motion Picture plants (Evensdale and Sanata Monica) away from Universal - New York Dramatic Mirror - Aug. 14, 1912 - Page 25 - Universal's Bison Brand Film Production -
  • Motography - Baumann Bolts Universal July 6, 1912 Page 3
  • Motography - Brevities of the Business - Swanson - Sept. 14, 1912 page 225
  • Trade Paper articles on the http://lantern.mediahist.org - using key words : Bison Plant - Oak Crest - Universal Bison Brand - Universal Evensdale plant battes with the New York Company with its president (Baumann) was replaced by Laemmle at Universal

Providencia Ranch -[edit]

  • Motion Picture Historical importance remains unclearly in following two Documents : by the City of Los Angeles and Burbank.
  • such as " Universal Studio Oak Crest Ranch - the first location of universal city (1912 to 1914) is not in Lankershim town ship rather than Providencia Land and Water Property in Burbank Township.

Providencia - Universal Ranch errata -[edit]

Why ?  Article insufficient inline citations written in 2010 - better coverage of 1912 to 1914 Motion Picture History In the Valley
  • Source Reference: UnIversal Studios Historic District - Preservation Plan Final - NBC Universal Evolution Plan - page 1622 an 1623 - Final errata requested
  • Source Reference: Historical Resources Assessment - Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Hollywood Hills - page 11& 11 - Final errata requested
  • Errata Historic Resources - base on Motion picture Trade articles and Newspaper Articles searched after the publication dates of The Los Angeles Planning
  • Dickens Universal Stonecutter Image collection Flickr Keyword search : San Fernando Valley - Providencia Ranch - Oak Crest Ranch - Lasky Ranch - Universal City -
  • Documented and researched Images unavailable to the Planning Dept. during the creating of this Wiki article in 2010.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Communication Arts. Media History Digital Library was developing during the time period the Historic resources were bin reached. Only one trade paper of 1912 is given for Lasky ranch, the same issue
  • Several Wiki articles created in 2010 requires an errata
  • the The San Fernando Valley was also the site for two Universal Studios west coast operations in 1914.
  • new research available to confirm the need of updating City Planning Historic Document in a 2016 Report.
  • Trade Publications - 1912 to 114 http://lantern.mediahist.org - provide by the University
  • Media History Digital Library - https://archive.org/details/mediahistory
  • Lantern is an open access co-production of the Media History Digital Library and
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Communication Arts. Media History Digital Project
  • Futon Newspapers collection using the Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Newspaper Collections 1912 to 1914 - http://fultonhistory.com/
  • Library of Congress - 1912 to 1914- Using any keywords in this wiki article - http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/ndnp/million.html
  • Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Newspaper Collections 1912 to 1914 - library of congress newspapers
  • Universal oak Crest ranch the largest in the world by the trade Journals Studios Historic press articles
  • California Digital NewsPaper Collection - Eagle Rock Sentinel, Number 14, 5 December 1912 page 2 - Mammouth Film Plant -San Fernando Valley Famous - http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=ERS19121205.2.22


Early Universal Ranch (1912-1914) - Oak Crest[edit]

Universal Film Manufacturing Company took over the west coast assets of Nestor Studios.[1] This included a studio in Hollywood and ranch land in the San Fernando Valley. The Nestor Ranch was located on 'Providencia Land and Water Development Company' property east of the river, just below Cahuenga Peak. El Providencia Rancho in the foothills of the San Fernado Valley

  • Newspaper : Van Nuys News and The Van Nuys Call Friday, Nov 29, 1912 - Dec. 5 1912 - - Mammouth Film Plant is making San Fernando Famous - El Providencia rancho - Universal Ranch - Pacific Electric Oak Crest Station

Makeshift stages were set up on the 'Oak Crest Ranch' property and the production of western films began at the former 'Nestor Ranch' site in 1912. On December 6, 1912, an informal studio opening was held at the Oak Crest property[2] The public was invited to tour the 'Oak Crest Ranch' and watch a Bison Pictures cowboys and Indians battle.[3]

  • Newspaper : Eagle Rock Sentinel - Dec. 5 1912 - page 2 - Mammouth Film Plant - El Providencia rancho - Universal Ranch

After the official opening of the new Lankershim Universal City site in 1915, the Providencia ranch (Oak Crest) property would become known as the "Universal Ranch".[4]

Universal City - Oak Crest Ranch (1912 - 1914)[edit]

Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal, saw the Oak Crest site as too small to consolidate all the west coast operations.[5] He ordered the purchase of larger property from the Lankershim Land, Water Development Co.[6] The Lankershim site contained several tracts of land, including Taylor Ranch.

Consolidation began in 1914, with the relocation of several small buildings from the Sunset Gower Studios (former Blondeau Tavern) studio and Oak Crest Ranch property. The three sections of the Lankershim property were referred to as the Universal Back Ranch and contained a zoo, cafe, horse corral and stage 2.

The Taylor ranch bordering on Lankershim Blvd. was divided by a stream. It contained the studio front lot and the backlot on the east side of the stream. The photographs of the Providencia Ranch land can be seen in the [7] a "A Birds Eye View of Universal City".

The alternate names of this filming site include Providencia flats; Nestor Ranch; Oak Ranch; Oak Crest Ranch; Universal Ranch/Universal City [Providencia site vs Lankershim site]; 1916 Lasky Ranch; and Paramount Ranch (until Nov. 1927). Today this area is Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills).[8]

Birth of a Nation (1915)[edit]

The Providencia Land and Water Development Company property was used for the battle scenes in Birth of a Nation.[9] Billy Bitzer illustrates the location of the battle scenes by his hand drawn map.[10]

Lasky Ranch (1918)[edit]

The Famous Players - Lasky Corporation have secured the "old Universal Ranch", a 1,000 acre tract within five minutes of Hollywood at a cost said to be $1,000,000. The site will be used for permanent sets and the first Picture will be a revival of "The Squaw Man", which Ceil B. Demile is to direct.[11] [ The Squaw Man II, Presented by Jesse L. Lasky for Artcraft Pictures Corp., released by Famous Players Lasky Corp. on the Paramount Program, Dec. 15, 1918.[12]

Paramount Ranch[edit]

Paramount ranch: LA Times announced on November 20, 1927: “With one gesture a 1,000 acre ranch is being abandoned.” [13]

Notes[edit]

  • Universal Studios Historic District documents only contain the 1914 site. Lankershim property second universal city studio site in the San Fernando Valley.
  • Oak Crest - Providencia (Universal Ranch )the site today of Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills.
  • Oak Crest Ranch is the first universal ranch site 1912 to 1914
  • 1912-1914, Providencia Land and Water Development Company, the site today of Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills.
  • 1914 Lankershim Land and Water Development Company, the site today of Universal City.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "San Fernando Valley" By Marc Wanamaker (2011) Page 97, 103, and 106
  2. ^ The New York Dramatic Mirror " Oak Crest, a film city by itself - January 15, 1913 page 49.
  3. ^ Rotarian February 1914
  4. ^ Early Universal City; by Robert S. Birchard
  5. ^ Drinkwater
  6. ^ "A Motion Picture City... "Daily Advocate, October 2, 1914 Page 6
  7. ^ Los Angeles Image Archives
  8. ^ Series of New York Daily Mirror articles 1912 to 1915 - Library of Congress Newspaper Archives
  9. ^ G. W. Bitzer (as Billy Bitzer). Billy Bitzer: His Story. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1973.
  10. ^ Ibd
  11. ^ The Film Daily Wednesday, August 21, 1919 - Cover page 1
  12. ^ IMDB
  13. ^ Paramount Staff news letter

Further reading[edit]

  1. "San Fernando Valley" By Marc Wanamaker (2011) Page 97, 103, and 106
  2. "Oak Crest, a film city by itself" The New York Dramatic Mirror - January 15, 1913 page 49.
  3. "Universal City Visit" Rotarians Visit the Ranch see Cowboys and Indians February 1914
  4. "Early Universal City"; by Robert S. Birchard
  5. "A Motion Picture City... " Daily Advocate, October 2, 1914 Page 6
  6. "Scrap it" the Old Universal - 1915 Universal Tour Brochure
  7. The Cowboys, Indians and zoo 1914 first assets to be moved to the new Universal City. [Motion Picture World]
  8. "The Theatre of Science; a volume of progress and achievement in the motion picture industry" by Robert Grau : Page 287 - 1914 Broadway Pub. Co. New York
  9. The Life & Adventures of Carl Laemmle; by John Drinkwater (Carl Laemmle views Nestor ranch and names the area Universal City))

Universal History 1912 to 1915 - "Frickr Universal Image collection" by Dennis Dickens

External links[edit]

Motion PIcture Arts and Science - UCLA