What Was the First Feature-Length Motion Picture Ever Filmed in Louisiana?
Throughout the years, there have been thousands of movies filmed in Louisiana, but, what was the very first movie ever filmed here? The answer might surprise you.
When you think of Morgan City, what comes to mind? The Shrimp and Petroleum Festival might come to mind.
Maybe you think of that shrimp boat in the middle of the road when you think about Morgan City.
We pretty much think of everything shrimp whenever anyone mentions Morgan City.
Morgan City is often referred to as being “right in the middle of everywhere”, and it really kind of is.
There is one thing that is rarely if ever, mentioned when people talk about Morgan City. That one is that in 1917, the first feature-length motion picture was shot on location in Morgan City Louisiana according to 64parishes.com.
That's right, over 100 years ago Hollywood came knocking in South Louisiana and chose Morgan City as the location for a very important, very famous full-length motion picture shoot.
In 1917, Hollywood descended upon Morgan City, Louisiana to shoot "Tarzan of the Apes"!
Not only was "Tarzan of the Apes" the feature-length motion picture ever shot in Louisiana, but it was also the first feature-length motion picture ever shot outside of California or New York.
The African Jungle the movie was set in was actually the Atchafalaya Basin swamps.
According to 64parishes.com "with ticket sales exceeding $1 million at the domestic box office in its initial release, Tarzan of the Apes ranks among the top ten most successful films of the silent era."
A pretty incredible accomplishment considering that when the movie was released in 1918, the average movie ticket costs about five to seven cents, but moviegoers gladly "paid up to $2.50 to see Tarzan."
Aside from Morgan City providing the perfect setting for the movie, the Morgan City Chamber of Commerce also agreed not to charge any fees for filming rights.
Now, knowing that "Tarzan of the Apes" was actually filmed in South Louisiana, there are certain things throughout the movie that will certainly stick out to Louisianians.
Looks pretty familiar right?
So, that's the story of when, where, and what was the very first movie ever shot in Louisiana!
You read much more about the movie's production over at 64parishes.com.
Below is the 1918 movie "Tarzan of the Apes" for you to watch or just skim through.
Do you or anyone you know have any connection to this production? If so, we'd love to hear about it!