National Register nomination - Mitchell Camera factory in West Hollywood, CA

Feel free to discuss any topic related to the Mitchell Camera. Both 35 mm and 16 mm models are welcomed here. Also consider posting topics of other major motion picture cameras that you feel are important to the development of the Mitchell Camera. Feel free to upload a photo from the option on each new post.
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:08 pm

National Register nomination - Mitchell Camera factory in West Hollywood, CA

Post by KateEggert » Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:34 pm


My organization - West Hollywood Heritage Project - has nominated the Mitchell Camera Corporation factory in West Hollywood to the National Register of Historic Places.

We're asking people to send in emails of support for the nomination by July 5th. See the COPY/PASTE letter below or use it to riff off of.

Email it to:,,

In case you didn't know- In Los Angeles, we call the camera factory Mitchell built "The Factory," and The Factory was later turned into an important gay disco called Studio One.

If you'd like to read the application, you can find it here - ... camera.pdf

Please email me with any questions and I hope to see some emails from this forum!

RE: The Factory nomination,West Hollywood, CA

Dear National Register Commissioners,

I support the nomination of The Factory building in West Hollywood, CA (Mitchell Camera Corp-Studio One/Backlot).

The building is an iconic structure in West Hollywood and the surrounding area. It is a classic Daylight Factory with a history related to the pioneering factory designer and builder Albert and Julius Kahn.

Mitchell Camera Corporation had the building built in 1929 to house their motion picture camera design and manufacture works. While in the building, Mitchell Camera Corp designed and manufactured motion picture cameras that revolutionized filmmaking; giving rise to, at the time, a new film artist called the cinematographer. By 1946, 85% of all movies worldwide were shot on Mitchell cameras. The technology designed at The Factory building was the basis for all motion picture cameras until the introduction of digital in the 1990s.

Scott Forbes opened Studio One disco and the Backlot Theatre in 1974. Prior to Studio One, gay bars were small, windowless, anonymous buildings (in which one entered from the back of the building). The disco filled a vital community need: it celebrated sexual freedom for gay men. Studio One took the gay bar out of the closet, and helped bring gay men out too. Studio One’s massive, mainstream influence and success helped bridge the cultural divide between the gay community and the dominant heterosexual society. And in the AIDS crisis, especially the harrowing early years, the disco helped raise desperately needed money and provided a place of community and hope and strength.

The Factory building is an important building and is central to the story/stories of America/Americans. The Factory building is a quintessential American building given its connection to the factory designing/building pioneers that helped create Ford’s assembly line, and its pivotal role in movie-making history, and its crucial role in advancing LGBTQ civil rights. The Factory building must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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