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Billed as the “World’s Winter Film Capital,” Jacksonville was home to more than 30 silent film studios from 1908 – 1922. The Eagle Film City, which opened in 1916 in the Arlington community of South Jacksonville, was purchased in 1922 by Richard E. Norman, Sr. The property consists of a production building, generator building, a small cottage for visiting actors, a prop storage building, indoor sound stage, and an outdoor pool for water scenes.
Norman was one of the first independent movie producers to recognize the commercial potential of making films featuring an all-black cast for viewing in African American communities. Although completing several of his productions before moving to Jacksonville, Norman produced eight feature films between 1920 and 1928 including The Green- Eyed Monster (1920), The Crimson Skull (1921), The Bull-Dogger (1921), Regeneration (1923), A Debtor to the Law (1924), The Flying Ace (1926), and The Black Gold (1928). Contrary to most movies made during the silent screen era, Norman’s films were free of racial stereotypes and depicted African Americans in a more positive light. Although only one of Norman’s films, The Flying Ace, is known to exist, the five buildings that formed the studios remain.