Associated Authors Productions, Inc.
Associated Authors Productions, Inc. was an Orlando based company formed in 1922. Formed with the goal of filming six motion pictures in Orlando, based on the works of Hapsburg Liebe and George Allan England, they unfortunately managed to only produce one feature film and a short film.
In the Beginning
Early reports from trade magazines of the day state that the company was headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, but would produce work out of Orlando. The first mention of the company in Orlando newspapers was in the July 9, 1922, Orlando Sentinel. The company’s Orlando investors were businessmen, including Orlando mayor, E.G. Duckworth, who were looking to see the motion picture industry come to the area.
CLIPPING FROM APRIL 22, 1922 MOVING PICTURE WORLD
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CLIPPING FROM ORLANDO SENTINEL, JULY 9, 1922
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AD IN THE JULY 21, 1922 ORLANDO SENTINEL
According to the August 1922 issue of the Orlando Magazine, the company was financed by many of Orlando’s leading businessmen, with the goal of making films “in and about Orlando.” George Allan England, another novelist, was to supply stories as well to be adapted for the screen. At this point, both authors’ stories had already been adapted for the screen.
The company intended to construct a studio costing between $50,000 and $60,000 (roughly $883,357 – $1,060,028 in 2022 dollars). The company was contracted to provide six feature films all filmed in Orlando.
An article published in the July 30, 1922 issue of the Orlando Sentinel stated that stocks in the company were selling quickly, with more than $85,000 (roughly $1.5 million in 2022 dollars) sold. This was a fairly optimistic comment, likely to entice others to invest–their authorized capital was $350,000, with stocks selling for $10 a share. Still, the company had made distribution contracts with Associated Exhibitors, a subsidiary of Pathé; a film company that also released films such as 1923’s Safety Last!. This would allow films to be released just as quickly as they could be made.
John C. O’Loughlin, producer and director for Associated Authors Productions, told the Orlando Sentinel that the first two films to be made were to be films based on two works by Hapsburg Liebe, The Clan Call and The Broad Road.
The Broad Road
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the cast and crew for The Broad Road arrived in Orlando on September 30th, 1922, and were welcomed by R.E. Grabel, president of Associated Authors Productions, and Orlando Mayor E.G. Duckworth.
Filming for The Broad Road commenced on October 2, 1922, in Forest City. According to the November 10, 1922, issue of the Rollins Sandspur, the crew was shooting west of Rollins College. The production also attracted a large crowd of bystanders, and locals were used as extras.
The finished film opened at the Beacham Theatre on January 17, 1923, to a packed house. Though the film played to an overflow crowd, it could not be held over a second day due to scheduling conflicts. On January 18th, it played at the Grand Theatre, and the following week on January 25th, it played at the American on Church Street.
ADS FROM THE ORLANDO SENTINEL, WEEK OF JANUARY 15, 1923
The film, as advertised in Motion Picture News on June 28, 1923, was to be released in early Fall of 1923. Later issues of Motion Picture News reference that the film was being shown in multiple locales over the United States, including New York, Newark, Philadelphia and Cleveland.
Arrangements have been made with the Associated Authors Productions of Orlando, Fla., to distribute their first feature production, entitled “The Broad Road,” featuring May Allison, Richard Travers and Ben Hendricks, as an early Fall release. The Associated Authors are now planning to make a series of pictures which will be released early in the Fall.
Motion Picture News, June 23, 1923 VIEW CLIPPING
Reorganization and Dissolution
In the January 18, 1923 issue of the Orlando Sentinel, R.E. Grabel announced that Associated Authors Productions was to film a “series of comedies” starring a “well-known star.” The first of these comedies premiered at the Beacham Theatre on March 21, 1923. “The Coconut”, a short comedy produced by Associated Authors, starred “Shorty” Hamilton and Muriel Kingston.
Partnering with the Evening Reporter Star, Associated Authors Productions sponsored a screen and beauty contest in which 45 women entered. Judges of the contest were Mrs. Robert W. Farrell, George D. Moffatt, Jr., and Hapsburg Liebe. The winner, a Miss Mildred Baker, was announced in the April 13, 1923 Evening Reporter Star.
CLIPPING FROM APRIL 13, 1923 EVENING REPORTER STAR
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In June 1923, Associated Authors Productions was reorganized under again under a new president, Moses Overstreet. There was still a good deal of optimism surrounding the company, and in the June 27, 1923 issue of the Orlando Sentinel, Overstreet was reported to say that more films from Associated Authors Productions were to come, and that The Broad Road had already been shown in theatres in New York and Newark, New Jersey.
Although originally films produced by Associated Authors Productions were to be distributed to theatres by Associated Exhibitors, somewhere down the line, this changed. Moses Overstreet announced that The Broad Road was being distributed by First National (this company would a year later become Associated First National, and was later folded into Warner Brothers).
PRE-RELEASE REVIEW OF THE BROAD ROAD, MOTION PICTURE NEWS, JUNE 28, 1923
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Not longer after this shift to comedies, Associated Authors Productions fizzled out. The 1924 Orlando City Directory no longer lists the company and their address, 36 W. Pine Street appears to have been taken over by a different company.
Associated Authors Productions, Inc. (adapted from the July 1922 advertisement in the Orlando Sentinel)
John C. O’Loughlin
Donald A. Cheney
Secretary of Treasury
Board of Directors
M.O. Overstreet, Senator and President of Overstreet Turpentine Co.
S. J. Sligh, S.J. Sligh & Co., Citrus Growers and Packers
E. G. Duckworth, Mayor and Orlando businessman
L.C. Townsend, Contractor
Donald A. Cheney, General Manager of Orlando Water & Light Co.
Carey Hand, Carey Hand Funeral Parlor
J.J. Newell, Newell Electric Company
H.M. Voorhis, Attorney-at-Law
F.E. Baxter, Secretary and General Manager of Florida Land Sales Co.
George D. Moffatt, Jr., General Manager Orlando Utilities Commission
Hapsburg Liebe, Author and Playwright
A. Raymond Gallo, Publisher of The Stage Magazine
John C. O’Loughlin, Producer and Director
Donald A. Cheney
John C. O’Loughlin