|Eagle Film Studios, which later became Norman Studios, was built in 1916 on Arlington Road (photo taken approximately 1915)|
Home to more than 30 film studios in 1916, Jacksonville was known as the “Winter Film Capital” of the world in the early film era. Eagle Film City, a Chicago company housed in Jacksonville, was later purchased by filmmaker Richard E. Norman in 1920, marking the beginning of what is now known as Norman Studios. The Norman Studios Silent Film Company produced films for an African-American audience, featuring black actors playing positive roles that challenged stereotypes of that time period. Norman Studios is now being recognized as a new national historic landmark.
Norman Studios Silent Film Company produced “race films” made for black audiences, spotlighting black actors in professional roles including business leaders, war heroes, and agents for change. Contrasting mainstream portrayals of black actors, Norman Studios represented a turning point for African-Americans in the film industry. Norman Studios is the only preserved film studio in the United States that produced silent films starring black actors. As Norman Studios achieves national historic landmark status, it will become a center for tourism, film education, and research.
|Norman (Laboratories) Studios (photo taken 2015)|