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Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Fremont

4.6
#10 of 23 in Things to do in Fremont
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is located in what is now the historic district of Niles in the city of Fremont, CA. The museum is housed in the Edison Theater, a century-old Nickelodeon movie theater, just half a block from the former site of the Niles Essanay Studios where Broncho Billy and Charlie Chaplin made films in the 1910s. It is dedicated to preserving and showing silent films and their history. The silent film historical work of one of the members of its staff, David Kiehn, was featured on 60 Minutes for demonstrating that a film shot in San Francisco titled A Trip Down Market Street was actually made a few days before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Additionally, when Google made a Google Doodle for April 16, 2011, in celebration of Chaplin's 122nd birthday, they collaborated with the Niles Silent Film Museum to produce the short.

The museum houses a large collection of Motion Picture equipment and related artifacts, as well as about 10,000 Silent Films in their archive.
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Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
38 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • My wife and I have been going to see silent and early "talkie" films at the Niles Film Museum roughly quarterly since it was restored in 2004. The original Edison Theater opened here in 1913. It's.....  more
    My wife and I have been going to see silent and early "talkie" films at the Niles Film Museum roughly quarterly since it was restored in 2004. The original Edison Theater opened here in 1913. It's.....  more »
  • For the record this page is a duplicate to the "Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum" page, the correct and full name, on this website. They are one and the same. My wife and I have been going to see... 
    For the record this page is a duplicate to the "Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum" page, the correct and full name, on this website. They are one and the same. My wife and I have been going to see...  more »
Google
  • The silent film museum is full of history and admission is free; however donations are welcome. There are a lot of cool cameras and pictures to see. They even have some antique seats from the theater. Per the person who attends the theater "you can touch but be very careful", he was very welcoming and he likes questions. Bring your children if you have any you will be surprise how amaze they get when they see all the films and the things that were used to produced movies back in the days. There area a lot of antique stores near the theater and a little park across from it. there are also places to eat, from pizza, to American food, even ice-cream shops. Have fun and enjoy the place.
  • Lovely little museum that is a tribute to early film and answers the question: "Where did Charlie Chaplin produce films besides Hollywood?" A lot of great vintage film equipment and artefacts from that era. Just be careful, I got a little side eye from the staff. I tried to diffuse it with a friendly glance, but just got a terse nod from the old timer there. (I couldn't tell if it was because I was Asian or because I didn't drop anything into the donation basket initially.) Otherwise, I loved it being a film enthusiast.

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