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Selig Studio Building

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L. Frank Baum Postcard

Claremont and Byron, Chicago
North Center/St. Ben’s

Selig Polyscope Company, a motion picture company founded by William Selig in Chicago in 1896, distributed the first film version of Oz in 1908. Selig’s movie studios covered a whole block at Irving and Western at the time of the filming. According to White City Cinema, Selig, a native Chicagoan and traveling magician deemed himself Colonel “while touring the minstrel show circuit.” The silent movie was…  read more

Selig Polyscope Company, a motion picture company founded by William Selig in Chicago in 1896, distributed the first film version of Oz in 1908. Selig’s movie studios covered a whole block at Irving and Western at the time of the filming. According to White City Cinema, Selig, a native Chicagoan and traveling magician deemed himself Colonel “while touring the minstrel show circuit.” The silent movie was directed by Otis Turner and Francis Boggs and starred Romola Remus as Dorothy, Joseph Schrode as the Cowardly Lion, Frank Burns as the Scarecrow, and George Wilson as the Tin Man. Prior to the release of the Oz film version, in 1908, Selig was involved in the production of The Fairylouge and Radio-Plays, a touring “multimedia” attempt to bring L. Frank Baum’s books to a wider public. The production played to full houses but was a financial disaster for Baum anyway. The Chicago branch of Selig’s film studio closed in 1915. A BP gas station now stands at the southeast corner of Irving and Western; the building at Claremont and Byron, which is now a condominium complex, is the last remaining structure from the original Selig empire.

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L. Frank Baum Selig Studio Building

Selig Studio Building

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame
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641 W. Lake Street, Suite #200, Chicago, IL 60661
773.414.2603

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