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100 years ago today in Spokane: Actress Evelyn Brent featured in local film company’s first movie

From The Spokane Daily Chronicle of May 16, 1918. (The Spokesman-Review archive.)
From The Spokane Daily Chronicle of May 16, 1918. (The Spokesman-Review archive.)

The Washington Motion Picture Corp. conducted its first day of shooting at its new studio in Minnehaha Park.

The Spokane Daily Chronicle ran a glamour shot of Evelyn Brent, cast as “the romance element” in the studio’s first movie.

“Miss Brent is a beautiful brunette, 19 years old, unmarried and presented under her own name,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle. “She is a southern type, born in Tampa and educated in a New York college; rides, swims, dances and drives and is certain to enjoy her western experience.”

She began as a stage actress and had been making movies since she was 17, She then “gained stardom with rapid strides.”

From the labor beat: Farmers were complaining about a wartime manpower shortage, but meanwhile, said the Chronicle, “more than 500 men are idle in the pool rooms and on the streets of Spokane.”

The city labor agent expressed his frustration with the situation. He said, “These men are nearly all capable of taking one of the many jobs in the city. In spite of the tempting wages and improved working conditions, these men persist in remaining in town and turning down chances to earn good money.”


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