Norman Studios Reconnaissance Survey
Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve

Norman Studios
The Norman Studios Silent Film Museum currently consists of 4 buildings on an acre of land in an area of Jacksonville, Florida known as Old Arlington.
The Norman Studios Silent Film Museum

Quick Facts

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State:
Florida
Year Accomplished:
2012

"We are extremely happy to be moving toward an appropriate home for this important Jacksonville Landmark." -- Rita Reagan, Norman Studios Silent Film Museum. Norman Studios was a silent movie production house in Jacksonville, Florida during the 1920s specializing in "race films" as they were known at the time. These films used African-American actors in realistic, rather than the demeaning caricatures and stereotypes common in Hollywood films of the era. African-American writers were also used in the productions. Constructed in 1916 as part of the Eagle Studios, five buildings on just over an acre became the site of Norman Studios in 1922. The five buildings included a large production building, an actor's dressing cottage, a prop storage garage, and a set building. Adjacent to the large production building was a swimming pool. It was at this studio complex that Richard E. Norman shot The Flying Ace in 1926 and what many consider his most famous movie. Originally titled "Sky Demon", it was inspired by Bessie Coleman who tragically died in a plane crash before the project began. The Norman Studios Silent Film Museum currently consists of 4 buildings on an acre of land in an area of Jacksonville, Florida known as Old Arlington. The land and buildings have been acquired and stabilized (partially thru a Save America's Treasures grant of $225,000 in 2003) by the City of Jacksonville. There has been significant restoration work done to the property and it exhibits a high degree of integrity. There are two private non-profit organizations very interested in the future of Norman Studios. The Old Arlington, Incorporated which is interested in community revitalization and preservation efforts in Old Arlington. The other is the Board of Norman Studios Silent Film Museum, Incorporated which has partnered with the City of Jacksonville to restore and operate the museum. The National Park Service study team conducted a preliminary analysis of Norman Studio's resources in 2010. The Reconnaissance survey recommended that a Special Resource Study be recommended to Congress. City Ordinance 2011-453 authorized and approved the donation of the Norman Studios to the National Park Service and a partnership agreement between the City of Jacksonville and Norman Studios Silent Film Museum, Incorporated for the operation and maintenance of the property until its conveyance to the Service. On July 27, 2012, H.R. 6175 was proposed to authorize the special resource study for Norman Studios. For more information, please contact: Shauna Allen, Chief of Resource Stewardship and Partnerships, shauna_allen@nps.gov