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The Keystone
Film Company
Type of Company Production company
Country of Origination United States of America
Years of Operation Formed July 1912
Active August 1912 through circa 1917?
Company Principals Adam Kessel Jr., President
Charles O. Baumann
Mack Sennett
Company Offices 150 East 14th Street, New York, New York, USA (circa 1912)
Longacre Building, Broadway and 42nd Street, New York, New York USA (circa 1914)
Company Studios 1712 Allesandro Street (Glendale Boulevard) in Edendale (Los Angeles), California, USA (circa 1912 through ?)

The Keystone Film Company was announced in industry trades on 12 August 1912, and was distributed by Mutual Film Corporation (1912-1916), and later by Triangle Film Corporation (1916-1917) and Triangle Distributing Corporation (1917). The company was sold to Triangle Film Corporation in June 1917.

References: Brownlow-Parade pp. 30-31, 35, 308; Louvish-Keystone p. 322.

[The Moving Picture World, 5 October 1912, page 32] More Big “Bison-101” Pictures. / The making of big virile two-reel western subjects of the kind that made the company’s reputation before the organization of the Universal combine and the controversies which followed has been resumed by the “Bison-101” Ranch Company (New York Motion Picture Co.). Director [Thomas H.] Ince, who built up the Bison releases to their present popularity, is again at work on two-reel subjects at Santa Monica canyon and has turned out five — ten reels in all — since the middle of August. / The old Bison plant at Edendale has now been turned over to the Keystone company, which comprises among others Fred Mace and Mabel Normand, with Mack Sennett as director, and split reel comedies are being turned out at a merry rate. The company is working much faster than its schedule of releases so as to pile up a surplus against possible accidents or other interruptions. Last week Sennett completed a 500-foot comedy in a single day and claims a record on the feat. The Keystone company is a distinct organization, having no official connection with any other motion picture company, although it is owned by men who also own the New York Motion Picture Company as well as other motion picture concerns. / Director [Francis] Ford, formerly with the New York Motion Picture Co., is now making the dramatic pictures under the Broncho brand. His company is at Santa Monica canyon, close to the camp of Director Ince and the Bison players. / By the way, the Keystone company will have a weekly dramatic release on the market soon after October 1 according to present plans. Preparations are now well under way for this new undertaking. / It has been definitely decided to revive the famous comedy characters, the two sleuths, created by Sennett and Mace in the old days when they were with the Biograph company. Their further adventures will appear under the Keystone brand.

[The Moving Picture World, 23 November 1912, page 761] Charles Kessel [sic. — either Adam Kessel and/or Charles O. Baumann], the man who helped put the kay in “Kaybee” brand of films, is now in our midst, not as a visitor, but as one of us. He has stratched [sic. — scratched] out the words “of New York,” which used to follow his name, and hereafter the identifying tag will be “of Los Angeles,” for he has come to stay. Even now the real estate agents are hot on his trail and there are prospects that the next letter under this dateline may tell how he has emulated Mr. Lubin and bought a house. / Kessel came here to take charge of all the Kessel-Baumann properties, which include the plants formerly of the Bison and New York Motion Picture Company at Edendale and Santa Monica, and the properties of the Keystone, Broncho and Kaybee (formerly Bison-101) motion picture companies. / His first concern will be to launch the second weekly release ol the Keystone company. This will mean hiring new actors and providing new accommodations. It is too early to fix the date for the new release, but the expectation is that it will be out in about six weeks from this publication. / Meanwhile “Doc” Willat, who came with Kessel, is superintending vast alterations in the plant. The indications are that the present plant, which is no mean one, will be torn down and rebuilt. Already plans have been drawn for a new factory and Willat brought a complete outfit of new cameras, part of which went to the Edendale studio and the rest to the studio in Santa Monica canyon. A new stage is being built at Edendale this week for the use of the second Keystone company and a great deal of new scenery is being painted. All this represents a considerable financial layout, but the new organization seems to be sparing no expense.

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