Historic Hood River
These gents are hanging out in front of the Liberty Theater at 308 Oak Street. The movie posters are always helpful for dating the images. “A Submarine Pirate” was a Mack Sennett comedy from 1915 starring Charlie Chaplin’s older half-brother. “The Hunt” was a 1915 release staring Ford Sterling. He appears in blackface as the “blackface horse groom.” The plot is similarly indecipherable. You can make out some of the racist imagery common in that era on the right edge of the frame.
“The Edge of the Abyss” was also a 1915 release. It’s a good example of a “lost film.” Highly flammable film stock and an industry cranking out films at an incredible pace combine with time so a very significant percentage of films produced are not known to exist anymore. A famous 1965 fire at an MGM vault destroyed much of the record of the silent film era.
Every once in a while a cache of film prints is found in storage in a building which was once a theater in some place like a remote corner of Australia and an important title is rediscovered. I am a fan of some of the many YouTube channels about lost (and sometimes found) films. Perhaps someday I’ll find an important film in the Museum archives?
As for the Liberty Theater, its location is now the plaza next to 310 Oak Street. Someday we’ll have to screen some films in that space.