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Wednesday, May 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Dream of a Hollywood North starts to fracture

Having so far failed to sell its first film, the Washington Motion Picture Corporation now faced a $20,000 lawsuit after a film company dog was accused of masticating a local boy, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Jan. 10, 1919. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Having so far failed to sell its first film, the Washington Motion Picture Corporation now faced a $20,000 lawsuit after a film company dog was accused of masticating a local boy, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Jan. 10, 1919. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Not all was well at the Washington Motion Picture Corporation.

It still had not sold its first first film, “Fool’s Gold,” despite vigorous attempts to market it in New York.

Now, attorneys for a Spokane family filed a claim in court asking that they get first crack at any profits the film might realize in a sale. The family was suing the studio, based in Minnehaha Park, for $20,000 because their 6-year-old boy was bitten by a dog belonging to the film company.

The company’s principal stockholder said he continued to believe that the “picture will bring a top price” and “we shall have quite a sum left” once the film is sold. However, he admitted that the company did not yet “know just what our financial position is.”

This was an early sign that Spokane’s dream of becoming Hollywood North was perhaps too optimistic.

From the flu beat: The flu situation still was improving, but people were not exactly dancing with joy.

In fact, the ban on public dances remained in effect. City health officer Dr. J.B. Anderson said he would not lift the dance ban until he could make further study of local conditions.

Anderson was nervous about an uptick in the Spanish flu in Seattle and other cities, and he wanted to remain cautious. In general, however, he said he was “well satisfied with conditions in Spokane at present.”

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