The Nestor Motion Picture Company
The Nestor Motion Picture Company was a motion picture studio/production company located in Bayonne, New Jersey, andHollywood, California, which was owned and operated by David Horsley and his brother, William Horsley.
On October 27, 1911, Nestor opened the first movie studio actually located in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. It was at the Blondeau Tavern building on the northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. The first motion picture stage in Hollywood was built behind the tavern.
Other East Coast studios had moved production to Los Angeles, prior to Nestor’s move west. The California weather allowed for year-round filming and the ambitious studio operated three principal divisions under its Canadian-born general manager, Al Christie.
The Horsley brothers remained in New Jersey, where their laboratory and offices handled the Hollywood studio’s film processing and distribution. Al Christie moved permanently from the East, where he had been working with the Horsleys creating the extremely popular silent era Mutt and Jeff comedy shorts, to Southern California.
One division at the Hollywood location, under director Milton H. Fahrney, made a one-reel western picture every week while the second division, under director Tom Ricketts, turned out a one-reel drama every week. In addition to running the operation, Christie oversaw a weekly production of a one-reel Mutt and Jeff episode.
Other filmmakers began opening studios in the Hollywood area; today on many people’s list of things to do in Hollywood. The Horsleys operated the Nestor Studios at the Sunset and Gower location until May 20, 1912, when the Universal Film Company was formed, headed by Carl Laemmle. Nestor, along with several other motion picture companies, including Laemmle’s Independent Moving Pictures (IMP), was merged with Universal.