Movies Way Back When: Last Pre-Quake Film in Montecito

By Betsy J. Green

“East Lynne” was a silent movie filmed in the months before the big 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake. It was released on November 23. The Fox Film Corporation filmed scenes at one of the million-dollar mansions in Montecito.

The novel “East Lynne,” dating to the 1860s, has been performed on stage, on radio, on television, and on the silver screen countless times. Obviously, the general public never tired of watching rich people behaving badly, and then getting their well-deserved comeuppance in the end. Previous versions of the film had been made in 1913, 1916, and 1921.

(There are no known copies of this film.)

Betsy’s Way Back When book — 1919 — is now available in local bookstores and at This is the sixth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at​.


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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