The New Faith in Montecito
The earliest commercial movie that was filmed in Montecito, California dates to 1911. The New Faith, a religious film, was released on March 4, 1911. If you look closely at the two photos, you can see the place on the "El Fureidis" estate where it was filmed.
(This silent movie predates Santa Barbara's "Flying A" film studio since that group did not settle here until 1912.)
The local paper wrote, "James Waldron Gillespie's Italian villa in Montecito was used as the background for a Roman play, The New Faith."
This million-dollar estate was one of the most popular locations for movies made in Montecito. (Copies of this film no longer exist.)