It was the 1900s and the early part of it. The New York-centric film industry was looking out for capital with warm weather. They short-listed two cities, namely Los Angeles in California and Jacksonville in Florida. But Jacksonville people voted the world’s largest movie industry out of their town. Why the citizens of Jacksonville did not want to become a movie town?
The video on the origin of Hollywood
The movie industry in the USA was growing in the early1900s. The films were produced in many cities of the USA but more so in New York, CA and Jacksonville in Florida. Many good films were directed and made in Jacksonville.
The film fraternity was on the lookout for a headquarters for their industry. They wanted a city which was near to New York and at the same time enjoyed pleasant and warm weather for the most part of the year. They put their heads together and decided that the best two places could be Los Angeles in California or Jacksonville in Florida. For some time, there was no clearness on which city would ultimately bag the location of the biggest movie industry in the world.
But ultimately Los Angeles was chosen for this site. The voters of Jacksonville did not want the film industry in their town and voted it out.
Jacksonville and its rejection of USA movie industry
The city in Florida also had a lot of films made on its soil. It had great weather and was close to the beaches. There were some early comedy classics that filmmakers made in Jacksonville. But somehow, the city was yet not ready to take up this responsibility of having the movie industry of the USA in it. The Jacksonville establishment thought that there would be major compromises to be done in the city and people’s life if they have the movie industry there. There would be several actors and actresses of the film industry who would be running loose around the town.
With them and their lives would be security and other issues. Hence the people effectively voted against the movies and their location in their town. So the path was cleared by this voting for Los Angeles to have the movie industry which is the present-day Hollywood that we know of.
Would there have been differences if Jacksonville was the center of the USA movie industry?
It is difficult to predict how things would have been different if the city in Florida was made the center of the present-day film industry of America. However, the films would have a different set of movies and culture. Norman Studios was a film studio that worked from Jacksonville and it made movies with black actors as the main cast. On the other hand, Hollywood has a history of casting a black actor in a stereotypical role.
Therefore, It is only now that the concept of diversity and inclusion has emerged and changed the landscape of Hollywood.
Things would have been definitely different but as of now, Jacksonville is a story only in the archives.