Movie Monday: Cripple Creek Bar Room Scene 1899

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Cripple Creek Bar Image One
Black Maria Studio Still
Photo Credit:

One-hundred, twenty years ago, in May, Edison’s Black Maria Studio, considered to be the first movie studio in America, produced the short, non-actuality film Cripple Creek Bar-Room Scene.

An IMDB Summary:

A vignette of a bar-room/liquor-store in the West [with] no plot, per se. However, this short is usually regarded as the first “Western” in the sense that it depicts a western scene.

The film lasted one minute, had no action and the role of a barmaid was played by a man.

Summary From The Library of Congress:

Shows tap room of the “Miners Arms”, stout lady at the bar and three men playing stud horse. Old toper with a silk hat asleep by the stove. Rough miner enters, bar maid serves him with Red Eye Whiskey and he proceeds to clean out the place. Barmaid takes a hand with a siphon of vichy and, bounces the intruder with the help of the card players, who line up before the bar and take copious drinks on the house.

Cripple Creek Bar Image Two
An actual Cripple Creek, Colorado, bar.
Photo Credit: &

From Silentology:

So the film’s supposed to be set in one of the rough mining towns that were part of the Wild West. Also, it was definitely named “Cripple Creek” for a reason. Cripple Creek, Colorado, was a real-life ranch town that experienced a major gold rush in the late 19th century. In 1890, Robert Miller Womack struck gold and, six years later, the town had swelled from a mere 500 souls to well over 30,000 gold-fevered prospectors. All in all, something in the range of a half-billion dollars worth of gold would be extracted from the area.

The Black Maria was completed in early 1893 in West Orange, NJ and, when Edison built a new, rooftop movie studio in New York City, it ceased operation in January 1901. It was torn down in 1903.

7 thoughts on “Movie Monday: Cripple Creek Bar Room Scene 1899

    the britchy one said:
    May 27, 2019 at 8:20 PM

    That’s amazing

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      May 27, 2019 at 8:43 PM

      Pretty cool stuff.

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    May 27, 2019 at 9:52 PM

    So cool. Love this sort of stuff.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      May 28, 2019 at 12:03 PM

      The past is a fascinating place. I like digging into proverbial closets & attics. Never know what you might find…

    badfinger20 said:
    May 30, 2019 at 11:30 PM

    Hard to imagine that was the 1800s in action…moving. I love glimpsing in the past. I think of all the lost film throughout the years…

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      May 31, 2019 at 12:13 AM

      Well, with the French inventors, the Brits and I think a German was in there, Edison certainly wasn’t alone in breakthroughs.

      I’m finding a lot of lost films. Stuff was tossed out a lot of the time. Same attitude as the folks that destroyed the early Doctor Whos…”What do we need THIS for?” They don’t realize the time capsules they possess.

        badfinger20 said:
        May 31, 2019 at 12:18 AM

        I’ve read where some are found every day. In attics and ….salt mines?

        There is one I wish they would find. It was a color film of Clara Bow called Red Hair. Just a moment has survived.

        Yep those Doctor Who shows and all of those British pop shows with footage of everyone…was erased over.

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