Keystone Studios was an early movie studio founded in Edendale, California in 1912 as the Keystone Pictures Studio by Mack Sennett with backing from Adam Kessel and Charles O. Bauman, owners of the New York Motion Picture Company. The company filmed in and around Glendale and Silver Lake for several years, and was owned by the Mutual Film Corporation between 1912 and 1915.
The studio is perhaps best remembered for the era under Mack Sennett when he created the slapstick antics of the Keystone Kops and for the "Sennett Bathing Beauties." Charlie Chaplin got his start at Keystone when Sennett hired him fresh from his vaudeville career to make silent films. Charlie Chaplin at Keystone Studios is a 1993 compilation of some of the most notable films Chaplin made at Keystone, documenting his transition from vaudeville player to true comic film actor to director. In 1915 Keystone Studios became an autonomous production unit of the Triangle Film Corporation with D. W. Griffith and Thomas Ince. In 1917 Sennett gave up the Keystone trademark and organized his own company.
The "Sennett Bathing Beauties"Many other important actors also began their careers at Keystone, including Harold Lloyd, Gloria Swanson, Louise Fazenda, Raymond Griffith, Ford Sterling, Fatty Arbuckle, Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand, Ben Turpin, Harry Langdon and Chester Conklin.
Sennett, by then a celebrity, departed the studio in 1917 to produce his own independent films (eventually distributed through Paramount). The business of Keystone Studios decreased after his departure, and was finally dissolved after bankruptcy in 1935.
Much of the lighting & studio equipment from Keystone was bought by Reymond King - who started the "Award Cinema Equipment" company in Venice, California in November, 1935.
The name "Keystone Studios" was used later as a production label for Cineville and was named as the fictional studio in the Cineville production "Swimming With Sharks" starring Kevin Spacey. A new legal corporate entity named Keystone Studios began again during 2005. The two owners are Carl Colpaert and Lee Caplin. Keystone obtained its new trademark in 2006.