MOVIES WAY BACK WHEN: Tahiti in Santa Barbara

By Betsy J. Green

A movie magazine reported that members of the Vitagraph Company were filming the silent movie “The Lorelei Madonna” here.

This film takes place in a mission and in Tahiti. – Moving Picture World, April 24, 1915
(Albert E. Smith, one of the studio’s founders, had relatives in Santa Barbara.)

Betsy’s Way Back When book — Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions — is now available in local bookstores and at This is the seventh book in her series on the history of Santa Barbara. 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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