Authors Discussion & Signing with Adam Selzer & Michael Glover Smit

Authors, Adam Selzer and Michael Glover Smith will discuss and sign their latest book, Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry. This is the latest and most extensive volume on the almost forgotten history of movie making in Chicago in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It will be enlightening and entertaining with new stories and photos you may have not seen before. Come with questions about the early days film production in Chicago and those stories your older or deceased relatives told you about seeing Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and the Gish sisters on the sidewalks of Chicago.

Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry tells the fascinating but too little known story of how Chicago served as the unlikely capital of film production in America in the years prior to the rise of Hollywood (1907-1913). As entertaining as it is informative, the book straddles the worlds of academia and popular non-fiction alike in its vivid illustration of the rise and fall of the major Chicago movie studios in the mid-silent era (principally Essanay and Selig Polyscope). Colorful, larger-than-life historical figures like Thomas Edison, Charlie Chaplin, Oscar Micheaux and Orson Welles are major players in Flickering Empire - in addition to important but forgotten industry giants like 'Colonel' William Selig, George Spoor and Gilbert 'Broncho Billy' Anderson.


Michael Glover Smith is an independent filmmaker who teaches film history at several Chicago-area colleges. Adam Selzer is a tour guide, and the author of several books on Chicago history and folklore.

Event date: 

Saturday, April 4, 2015 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Event address: 

7419 W. Madison Street
Forest Park, IL 60130

Type of Event Terms: