Tonight, the Rafael Film Center in San Rafael screens Salomy Jane (1914), the only surviving production of the California Motion Picture Corporation (CMPC), which was based in San Rafael north of Golden Gate in Marin. The film stars Beatriz Michelena, a pioneering Latina actress.
Her Wikipedia entry begins thus: "Beatriz Michelena (February 22, 1890 – October 10, 1942) was an American actress during the silent film era, known at the time for her operatic soprano voice and appearances in musical theatre. She was one of the few Latina stars visible on the silver screen in the United States in the 1910s.
She was the leading lady in each film project she was involved in, and
co-founded a production company with her husband, producing four of her
|Courtesy of Susie Bright|
She wrote popular articles for newspapers, including an advice column for girls, describing what it was like to be an actress, and answering questions from readers. For adult readers, Michelena wrote other pieces such as a history of the moving picture industry. In 1920 when she stopped making films, she returned to her career as a singer."