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Join Esotouric, L.A.’s most eclectic sightseeing tour company, as they team up with author John Bengtson ("the great detective of silent film locations" – New York Times) to present a virtual silent cinema location scavenger hunt through one of L.A.’s most historic neighborhoods: Westlake.

Tune into this webinar to travel in the footsteps of the great silent film comedians Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd.

When Los Angeles was young, it was the biggest backlot in the world, its landscapes and landmarks recognized by millions of fans. Although the city has grown and changed enormously, many of these early cinema shooting locations survive. We’re flipping back the calendar pages for an immersive time travel trip to the silent city, where you’ll thrill to discover the actual buildings and boulevards that appear in some of the greatest comic scenes ever filmed, and marvel at John’s dogged detective work, using vintage photos, maps and primary source material to pinpoint exactly where the camera stood.

Inspired by, and expanding on, his popular in-person Esotouric sightseeing tour, this webinar reveals the hidden cinema history that is everywhere in Los Angeles and the strategies, research tricks and lucky breaks John uses to locate and match locations to their original film appearance a century ago.

John says, "Los Angeles was the most photographed city in the world, especially during the silent film era, when the great comedians traveled widely to shoot on location. Movies are time machines, and the films from 90 to 100 years ago reveal so much of our past, if only you know where to look. I’m so excited to share the onscreen history hiding in plain sight all around us, as we explore the streets where Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd once worked and played. It was once all real, and their silent echoes still reverberate gently."

This webinar is an illustrated lecture packed with rare photos and film clips that will bring the golden age of silent cinema to life on your digital device. And you’ll find the look of an Esotouric webinar is a little different than your standard dry Zoom session, with lively interactive graphics courtesy of the mmhmm app.

After the presentation, John will answer your questions about silent film location sleuthing in Los Angeles, so get ready to be a part of the show.

Can’t join in when the webinar is happening? You’ll have access to the full replay for one week. Please note: the 90 minute running time is just an estimate, and we often run long because the stories take on a life of their own. You can always come back and watch the last part of the webinar recording later.

John Bengtson is the author of Silent Echoes: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Buster Keaton (2000), Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin (2006) and Silent Visions: Discovering Early Hollywood and New York Through the Films of Harold Lloyd. Visit his website at https://silentlocations.com


About Esotouric: As undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz, Kim Cooper and Richard Schave inexplicably hated one another on sight. (Perhaps less inexplicably, their academic advisor believed they were soul mates). A chance meeting 18 years later proved much more agreeable. Richard wooed Kim with high level library database access, with which she launched the 1947project true crime blog, highlighting a crime a day from the year of The Black Dahlia and Bugsy Siegel slayings. The popular blog’s readers demanded a tour, and then another. The tour was magical, a hothouse inspiring new ways for the by-then-newlyweds to tell the story of Los Angeles. Esotouric was born in 2007 with a calendar packed with true crime, literary, architecture and rock and roll tours. Ever since, it has provided a platform for promoting historic preservation issues (like the Save the 76 Ball campaign and the landmarking of Charles Bukowski’s bungalow), building a community of urban explorers (including dozens of free talks and tours under the umbrella of LAVA) and digging even deeper into the secret heart of the city they love.

Rights and permissions: By attending an Esotouric webinar, you acknowledge that the entirety of the presentation is copyrighted, and no portion of the video or text may be reproduced in any fashion.

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