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When the Studio Burned (1913)

A recreation of the Thanhouser Studio fire of 13 January 1913, it includes the rescue of a small child from the flaming building.



(as Lloyd F. Lonergan)


Cast overview:
Helen Badgley ...
Mrs. Gerald Badgley ...
Member of Traveling Crew


On the day the Thanhouser Eastern studio was destroyed by fire, one of the companies was many miles away, taking a scene in an important drama. The news of the accident finally reached them by telephone, but by the time they had returned to New Rochelle the building was completely destroyed. On the long trip to the studio they were a prey to anxiety and the fear that friends, and relatives even, may have lost their lives. The Thanhouser Kid was one of the "outside company." while her mother was in the studio. As it happened the tiniest of the Thanhouser stars, "The Kidlet," was in the studio, and her mother in an "outside picture." The mother of "The Kidlet" when she left the studio, had placed her child in the care of Marguerite Snow, who, when the fire swept the building, saved the little one at the risk of her own life. The "Kidlet's" home, near the studio, was gutted by the flames. She was given temporary refuge by the slightly older star, the "Kid," of course, and that night "Kid... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama





Release Date:

4 February 1913 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Thanhouser Heroine  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Disappointing: Not Enough Behind-the-Scenes
10 January 2010 | by See all my reviews

The title "When the Studio Burned" peeked my interest; I was hoping for some behind-the-scenes footage of the Thanhouser movie studio, or at least a good fire scene and some footage of the burned lot, as this film was based on an actual fire at the Thanhouser lot that took place on 13 January 1913. There's a little bit of all of that, but not nearly enough to be of much interest. There's a brief glimpse of some rubble, a cramped perspective of some supposed studio building, cameos by the Thanhouser stars and a poorly staged fire, which is just smoke. Too much time was spent on photographing cute children.

Furthermore, why the tendency to dramatize and sensationalize real events? Even if this film were somewhat faithful to what really happened, which it probably wasn't, the poorly and overly dramatized depiction here causes one to doubt the picture's fidelity.

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