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At the time, Thomas Edison owned almost all the patents relevant to motion picture production and movie producers on the East Coast acting independently of Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company were often sued or enjoined by Edison and his agents while movie makers working on the West Coast could work independently of Edison's control. Before World War I, movies were made in several US cities, but filmmakers tended to gravitate towards southern California as the industry developed.
They were attracted by the warm climate and reliable sunlight, which made it possible to film movies outdoors year-round and by the varied scenery that was available.
While there, the company decided to explore new territories, traveling several miles north to Hollywood, a little village that was friendly and enjoyed the movie company filming there.
Griffith then filmed the first movie ever shot in Hollywood, In Old California, a Biograph melodrama about California in the 19th century, when it belonged to Mexico.
Others quickly followed and either built new studios or who leased facilities in Fort Lee. Picture City, Florida was also a planned site for a movie picture production center in the 1920s, but due to the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, the idea collapsed and Picture City returned to its original name of Hobe Sound.
In the 1910s and 1920s, film companies such as the Independent Moving Pictures Company, Peerless Studios, The Solax Company, Éclair Studios, Goldwyn Picture Corporation, American Méliès (Star Films), World Film Company, Biograph Studios, Fox Film Corporation, Pathé Frères, Metro Pictures Corporation, Victor Film Company, and Selznick Pictures Corporation were all making pictures in Fort Lee. Other major centers of film production also included Chicago, Texas, California, and Cuba.
The first recorded instance of photographs capturing and reproducing motion was a series of photographs of a running horse by Eadweard Muybridge, which he took in Palo Alto, California using a set of still cameras placed in a row.
Muybridge's accomplishment led inventors everywhere to attempt to make similar devices.
In 1909, a forerunner of Universal Studios, the Champion Film Company, built the first studio.In 1894, the world's first commercial motion-picture exhibition was given in New York City, using Thomas Edison's kinetoscope.The United States produced the world's first sync-sound musical film, The Jazz Singer, in 1927, and was at the forefront of sound-film development in the following decades. Griffith was central to the development of a film grammar.Since the early 20th century, the US film industry has largely been based in and around the 30 Mile Zone in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Orson Welles's Citizen Kane (1941) is frequently cited in critics' polls as the greatest film of all time.The major film studios of Hollywood are the primary source of the most commercially successful and most ticket selling movies in the world.