Santa Cruz County History - Films

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Daily Surf. March 31, 1917. p. 8


Crowds have been watching the Robard Film Producing Company at work this morning on the Avenue. They put on a mob scene on Pacific Avenue and Front Street in front of the Santa Cruz County National Bank. There was considerable excitement among participants and bystanders. In the mob was Mayor Howe and many other prominent citizens and in the midst warding off with their billies the tumultuous and riotous people, were Officers Curry and Parker. To make it more realistic several shots were fired in midair. The mob attempted to take the prisoner from the officers and in quick order by auto Sheriff Trafton and Undersheriff R. H. Rountree arrived and got the prisoner.

Used Laveaga Park Mud

A number watched the building of a concrete jail wall by the Robard Company. It was an entrance to a jail between the jail building and City Hall. It only took a short time to make a stone wall. By means of a brush Laveaga park mud was thrown against the wall and made a perfect representation of a stone wall.

Hanging Scene

Before the hanging scene the mob attempted to gain entrance to the jail yard on Front Street and crowded about and attempted to batter down the gate. This was witnessed by about a thousand spectators on the street. As they were about the gate a man was stabbed in the crowd and a priest (the part taken by Hugh Leonard) was called. The crowd finally broke the gate down and made their way to the jail yard to witness the execution. A scaffold had been built against the jail wall and a priest attended the prisoner on the scaffold. The yard was a mass of human beings there to see a movie hanging.