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Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions, Behind the Scenes at the "Flying A," & Silents on the Islands


Marshall Neilan. (Who's Who on the Screen, 1920)

Happy Birthdate, Marshall Neilan!

Marshall Neilan was born on April 11, 1891. According to "Flying A" director Alan Dwan, in 1912, Marshall Neilan recommended Santa Barbara as the new headquarters for the "Flying A." Dwan recalled, "I thought we better get out of La Mesa [their former location]. It was getting a little cramped for us." So, Dwan asked Neilan to look around. "One day I got a phone call from Santa Barbara. He was down there at the Potter Hotel. I could tell from the way he was talking that he was feeling pretty good too. He said, 'I've found exactly what you want down here.' So, I packed up the outfit, put them on their horses and their wagons and off we went from La Mesa down near San Diego all the way to Santa Barbara." – Alan Dwan - letter on file at the Gledhill Library, Santa Barbara Historical Museum

(Neilan later went on to direct dozens of films, including Stella Maris with Mary Pickford. One of the scenes in that movie was filmed at a Montecito estate.)

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