Time Frame: Charlie Chaplin Studios, 97 Years Ago and Now


When the Jim Henson Company bought a former film studio in 1999, it dressed a statue of Kermit as the Little Tramp in honor of the lot’s founder. Charlie Chaplin had built his operation in a Hollywood orange grove and then proceeded to make some of his most memorable movies: City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator. But the British-born actor-director—shown inspecting the newly completed Charlie Chaplin Studios in 1918 (inset)—was dogged by claims he was a Communist. After his immigration status was challenged in 1953, he sold the business. At one point the site was A&M Studios, headed by Herb Alpert. In 1972, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited Chaplin to collect an honorary Oscar at 82, after which he drove by his old haunt one last time.