The following is from an email I received from Janelle Vreeland: Director of Social Media at the Essanay Studios who kindly asked me to help spread the word about the studios' restoration campaign:
Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and Ben Turpin all made their way through the historic Essanay Studios in Chicago on their way to stardom. Although they’re gone, the studio that helped bring them to the rest of the world still stands, and we’re working to bring it back into the spotlight.
Our newly launched Indiegogo campaign seeks to preserve and revitalize one of the world’s first and last remaining silent film studios and a unique piece of a great city’s history. The restoration and rebirth of the Essanay Film Studio Complex will provide an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn and experience the magic and mystery of early film-making and Chicago’s unique role. It will also extend and expand the studio’s cultural legacy by providing a community space for the performing arts. Last, but far from least, it will enhance the educational mission and prestige of St. Augustine College through its stewardship of this historic site and as a community partner and anchor of the historic Uptown Entertainment District.
The rise of the film industry and Chicago’s leading role is an important story for people in Chicago and beyond. You can help preserve this story by spreading the word about this incredibly important project.
To learn more about or contribute to our campaign, visit our Indiegogo page here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-and-restore-essanay-studios
Or visit the official Essanay Studios site here: http://essanaystudios.org