Before the film industry emerged supreme in Hollywood, Vitagraph was the first Motion Picture Production Company in the United States. It was founded by J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith in 1897 and they enjoyed much success. In 1906, a giant studio was built on East 14th St. and Locust Ave. in Brooklyn, NY, in the area known as Midwood.
After creating a long legacy in film and animation, the studio was sadly demolished in 2015, but the famous Smokestack with the Vitagraph Logo still stands. An online petition is in effect to make it a landmark. I believe it deserves to be. Brooklyn is fast losing its classic, gilded age identity.
Read an article about the demolition with some history of the studio:
Watch a short Youtube Documentary:
A Brief History of the Vitagraph Studios – A short Film from Tony Susnick
Watch a quirky Vitagraph Movie clip: The Thieving Hand