The hulking building (below) at number 221 between Seventh and Eighth Avenues that’s now a sound stage for TV shows formerly served as the studio where early silent features were shot and produced.
“The brick barn of a building was originally headquarters for the city’s Ninth Mounted Cavalry division,” writes Richard Alleman in New York: The Movie Lover’s Guide.
“When the unit moved to 14th Street in 1914, pioneer film producer Adolph Zucker found the spacious armory—which came complete with a tethering ring for its former equine occupants—a great place for making movies, and he turned it into a studio for his Famous Players Film Company.”
The Famous Players featured top talent at the time, like Mary Pickford (left). Among the films shot and produced here were John Barrymore’s An American Citizen and That Man From Mexico.
Like the rest of New York’s nascent film industry at the time, the studio’s days for movie-making were numbered. A fire consumed it in September 1915, and Zuker moved his players to a different building uptown.
And then, of course, to Hollywood. The fledgling Famous Players became giant Paramount Pictures.