Movies Way Back When: Montecito subs for Monte Carlo and Venice

Movies Way Back When: Montecito subs for Monte Carlo and Venice title=
Image: Reel Life, May 8, 1915
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By Betsy J. Green

Montecito was a stand-in for scenes in Europe in a silent movie about a wealthy young American man with plenty of time and money on his hands. He is ready for adventure – especially if it involves an attractive young woman. This “Flying A” film – “The Lure of the Mask” – was released on May 17, 1915.

Several locations in Montecito were used, including the Crocker-Sperry Ranch known as “Las Fuentes.” The site of this ranch is now the Birnam Wood Golf Club.

“The reservoir at the Crocker-Sperry Ranch in Montecito will be used for a Venetian scene this morning . . . A crew of workmen yesterday afternoon took out a bunch of specially prepared scenery and placed this in such a manner that the desired effect will be secured. Gondolas will also be employed to add the truer atmosphere.” – Santa Barbara Morning Press, February 27, 1915


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