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100 years ago in Spokane: Famous director and animal trainer Larry Trimble hired by new movie company

UPDATED: Tue., March 20, 2018

Larry Trimble, a well-known director and animal trainer, signed a contract to be director of productions for Spokane’s new Washington Motion Picture Corp., the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on March 20, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Larry Trimble, a well-known director and animal trainer, signed a contract to be director of productions for Spokane’s new Washington Motion Picture Corp., the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on March 20, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Larry Trimble, well known to motion picture fans “of both England and America,” signed a contract to be director of productions for Spokane’s new Washington Motion Picture Corp.

He was committed to make movies here for at least a year.

He was an experienced screenwriter and marketer and had directed many silent movies, including “The Light Within,” “Far From the Madding Crowd” and “My Old Dutch.” He was also, said the Spokane Daily Chronicle, a short-story writer and athlete. He would later be known as an animal trainer for films.

Trimble said the spacious new Spokane studio complex at Minnehaha provided a “wonderful opportunity” to “provide the background and settings for motion pictures.”

Trimble was a former producer of films in London, and he said the same question was asked over and over: “When are you Americans going to give us some films that are more truly representative of American life?”

He said most of the films were made in New York and California and were focused on things like Wall Street. They didn’t show “the conditions of life” under which things like wheat and ore were actually produced.

They said, “What we want is the big human story. The story that tells of progress and opportunity. The story of the development of vast resources.”

Those are the movies Trimble intended to make in Spokane.

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