December 1st in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1915, a perhaps apocryphal story about Seal Beach real estate appeared in the Des Moines Tribune about an encounter between a extra and Hollywood film director Frank Lloyd.

At the end of a long day of shooting a big crowd scene for “The Gentleman from Indiana,” the extras lined up to receive their pay. The director, conveniently for this anecdote, forgot what the extras were getting paid and asked one how much he had made that day.

The extra answered with a happy grin, “Two Hundred and thirty dollars!” This number far exceeded the standard range of pay for an extra in 1915 was at very best only a few bucks.

The extra explained to the shocked Lloyd that he was a real estate man and had sold five Seal Beach lots to his fellow extras during the day.

This story also appeared in newspapers in Montana and Oregon. I can’t help but wonder. Did this obvious P.R. story come from Paramount Pictures or from Seal Beach itself?

– Michael Dobkins


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