Movies Way Back When – Filming on Santa Cruz Island

Image: A scene from “The Flame of Youth” (Moving Picture Weekly, June 9, 1917) - (Courtesy)

Dateline: June 1917

More than 40 silent movies were filmed right off our coast on Santa Cruz Island. Many were made by our own “Flying A,” but there were others who took advantage of this picturesque isle.
In 1917, the Butterfly Pictures Company of Los Angeles filmed a five-reel (c. 1 hour) adventure drama called “The Flame of Youth” on this island.

“The larger part of the scenes was taken on Santa Cruz Island, and are as beautiful as anything seen in recent pictures.” – Moving Picture Weekly, June 16, 1917

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Written by bjgreen

Betsy J. Green is a Santa Barbara historian and author. Her books are available in local bookstores, and at (Shop local if you can.) Learn more at

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