Santa Cruz County History - Films

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Daily Surf. March 19, 1917. p. 8


Miss Mary Pickford and company of thirty, with Cecil DeMille as director, who have been here since Thrusday, boarded the train last night at Casa del Rey, to which was attached two special coaches. Crowds were at the 7 o'clock outgoing train at the Southern Pacific Station to watch the pretty little actress, who has so worn herself into the hearts of the people, depart, but they all were disappointed as she went direct from dinner to the train that stopped at the hotel. Miss Pickford did not stop for Sunday, but worked all morning with the company at the Big Trees to put on the last of the part of "In Other Men's Boots," the play they have done so much work on for the four days which deals with western life.

Miss Pickford expressed herself enthusiastically over Santa Cruz and its surroundings and of the pleasure afforded her by this visit. Her brother Jack will remain here some time longer. Van Zimmerman, director of locations, returned to Los Angeles with the company. As she left she waved and bid all goodbye from the car platform.

Murder Trial by Movie Actors

The Superior Court Room was given over to the movie people all day Sunday and crowds thronged the court house and enjoyed the taking of pictures at close range. Many who were unable to be there when the company was there during the week were able to be present Sunday. The lights, the operation of the camera and other mechanism was as interesting as the acting. The directing of Mr. Reid proved intensely interesting. It was the trial of Pietro Millicich, the part taken by Mr. Tavares, who was the principal actor when the plot was hatched, when the scene was presented in Chinatown. The scene in court yesterday was one where the entire Robard-Reid company participated and there was some great acting when the sentence of death was pronounced on the prisoner and he was to be hanged on Friday, Feb. 13, by the neck until he is dead. The prisoner wonderfully portrayed his role and the emotion displayed was intense as he fell forward before the judge. Mrs. Robard, as his wife, was picturesque in her costume of the Levant with her bright colored turban and shawl and made a pathetic appeal. The jury was of men and women of Santa Cruz and Mayor Howe was one of the attorneys.

All morning and afternoon the work was put on with crowds gazing at the actors who would soon be seen on the film.

Another Movie Dance

A second house dance was given Saturday night at Casa del Rey, when the large number of guests at the Hotel and the actors of the three movie companies and the people of the city mingled freely and enjoyed the dances. Miss Pickford again graced the occasion by her presence and was the same sweet little woman and graciously received and engaged in conversation freely with all.

Miss Huff Lands Salmon

Miss Huff and Jack Pickford put on some wonderful scenes yesterday for "Freckles." By auto they went Sunday morning to Scotts Creek, having received permission from the State Fish and Game Commission to visit the spawning beds. The fish were running well and Miss Huff and Jack Pickford were taken in the act of landing salmon trout. The spot is a wonderful one for scenic effects.

Local Talent Recognized

Mrs. Allan Hiley's talent was quickly recognized by the motion picture actresses. Some of her miniature work was on exhibit in the lobby of the hotel and first attracted the attention of Van Zimmerman, director of locations. Mrs. Hiley is especially known around the bay cities for her miniatures, which are gems, and the work appealed to the artistic temperament of the visitors, and as a result of their visit Mrs. Hiley will paint miniatures of Mary Pickford, Jack Pickford, Miss Huff, the leading lady in "Freckles;" Elliott Dexter, who plays opposite to Mary Pickford, gave an order for one of his wife, Marie Doro, and an order was given by another of the company for a likeness of Blanche Sweet. Mrs. Hiley should feel highly complimented that she was chosen by these people for this exquisite work.

At Gregory's

The Lasky Company, with Miss Huff and Jack Pickford, left Casa del Rey at 9 o'clock for Gregory Heights, where they will remain three days, to put on logging camp scenes in the timber and logging country of the San Vicente Lumber Company. This leaves only the Robard Company in town at present.

Presents Mary Pickford with Pansies

One of the pleasant events and memories of Miss Mary Pickford's stay was a visit from a little admirer of Santa Cruz, Alberta McCormick, daughter of Mrs. Florence McCormick. The child brought to the hotel a beautiful bouquet of pansies and waited two hours for the little actress. The child was received just as one might expect. She was given a warm welcome and greeting and engaged in some conversation with the star of the motion picture world. The name and address of the child was taken and she will receive a photograph from Mary soon.

Boyhood Friends Meet

As A. S. T. Johnson of the Henry Cowell Lime and Cement Company was leaving the Casa del Rey dining room last evening, where with his wife he had been for dinner, he noticed one of the actors. The face was very familiar and he recognized Elliott Dexter, who plays the opposite to Mary Dexter, as the Ethelbert Dexter he had known as a boy at school at Washington, D.C., and whom he had not seen for 20 years. His card was sent to Mr. Dexter and altho it was 20 minutes of train time, Mr. Dexter was immediately at his side and it was a hearty greeting that the friendships were renewed. There were plenty of reminiscences that proved of great interest to both and Elliott smiled as he had never done during this stay here as the two gentlemen recited events of the past. Mr. Johnson had remarked at times when he had seen Elliott on the screen that he was certain it was his old friend.