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New York Motion Picture Company  
Type of Company Production and distribution company
Country of Origination United States of America
Years of Operation Formed 1909
Active circa May 1909 through circa 1914?
Company Principals Adam Kessel
Charles O. Baumann
Company Offices Longacre Building, 42nd Street and Broadway in New York, New York
150 East 14th Street, New York, New York (circa October 1912)
Company Studios 1712 Allesandro Street (Glendale Boulevard) in Edendale (Los Angeles), California, USA (circa 1912 through [?] August? 1912)
Santa Monica (circa 1912)

New York Motion Picture Company productions were self-distributed circa 1909, and released through The Universal Film Manufacturing Company, Incorporated, beginning in June 1912. New York Motion Picture Company pulled out of the merger in 1912. As a result, Universal began releasing films under the 101-Bison brand name while New York Motion Picture Company was continuing to do the same through Mutual Film Corporation until 26 October 1912. Up to that date, trade advertisements noted that their productions were “genuine” 101-Bison films.

New York Motion Picture Company brand names, as distributed through Mutual Film Corporation, were Broncho (westerns), Domino (comedies), Kay-Bee (dramas) and 101-Bison (westerns). The company became the New York Motion Picture Corporation [?] circa 1914?

References: Robinson-Palace p. 116.

[Moving Picture World, 5 October 1912, page 32] More Big “Bison-101” Pictures. / The making of big virile two-reel western subjects of the kind that made the company’s reputation before the organization of the Universal combine and the controversies which followed has been resumed by the “Bison-101” Ranch Company (New York Motion Picture Co.). Director [Thomas H.] Ince, who built up the Bison releases to their present popularity, is again at work on two-reel subjects at Santa Monica canyon and has turned out five — ten reels in all — since the middle of August. / The old Bison plant at Edendale has now been turned over to the Keystone company, which comprises among others Fred Mace and Mabel Normand, with Mack Sennett as director, and split reel comedies are being turned out at a merry rate. The company is working much faster than its schedule of releases so as to pile up a surplus against possible accidents or other interruptions. Last week Sennett completed a 500-foot comedy in a single day and claims a record on the feat. The Keystone company is a distinct organization, having no official connection with any other motion picture company, although it is owned by men who also own the New York Motion Picture Company as well as other motion picture concerns. / Director [Francis] Ford, formerly with the New York Motion Picture Co., is now making the dramatic pictures under the Broncho brand. His company is at Santa Monica canyon, close to the camp of Director Ince and the Bison players. / By the way, the Keystone company will have a weekly dramatic release on the market soon after October 1 according to present plans. Preparations are now well under way for this new undertaking. / It has been definitely decided to revive the famous comedy characters, the two sleuths, created by Sennett and Mace in the old days when they were with the Biograph company. Their further adventures will appear under the Keystone brand.

[Moving Picture World, 5 October 1912, page 51] Universal Wins a Point. / Justice Delany Declines to Grant Application of New York Motion Picture Company for Injunction During Pendency of Action. / The Universal Film Manufacturing Company won a point in the New York Supreme Court in a lengthy decision given by Justice Delany on a motion made by the New York Motion Picture Company. The suit between the parties is for the purpose of compelling the Universal Company to deliver up certain contracts and other papers given in May last when negotiations were on for a merger of the New York Motion Picture Company into the Universal Company. The motion before Justice Delany was made by the New York Motion Picture Company and is described in the text of the opinion as “made with the intention of inducing the Court to restrain and prohibit certain acts on the part of the defendant (Universal Company) during the pendency of the action which would interfere with or impede the freedom of action of the plaintiff (New York Motion Picture Company) in its business and rights as they were before the execution of the several contracts referred to, the annulment of which is asked for in its complaint.” / The court then recites the probable effect of the granting of the motion on either party to the suit and adds: “If the plaintiff’s ultimate success appears to be doubtful the court is constrained to deny such a motion.” Justice Delany then reviews the history of the two contending parties prior to the agreement to consolidate their business in order to improve the trade, prevent waste and generally solidify their interests, which it is claimed were needed for profit and standing. / After an exhaustive statement of the negotiations and agreements entered into by the two parties, Justice Delany concludes: “The most striking feature of the moving papers and exhibits is that not a question, as it seems to me, can be raised as to the sufficiency or the regularity of these transactions so far as set forth in the documentary exhibits, and they of themselves are ample to tell the entire story of the course pursued by the parties. The only transactions which might be considered as vitiating the contract depend on statements of Bauman [sic] without the support of any writing incidental to the matter. It must be observed, although it is not necessary to enter into a discussion of it now. that there are several defendants who, it is claimed, were similarly with the plaintiff interested in the undertaking, and who had invested their entire businesses in it, and I do not see that any action on the part of the plaintiff has been taken to do the equities which might be necessary to minimize their damage if the plaintiff is entitled to change his position in this transaction.” / The opinion treats at length of the contention of the New York Motion Picture Company that the merger was in restraint of trade. “It is contended that the contracts are void because their tendency is to monopolize and restrain trade,” says Justice Delany. “The papers of the moving party referring to the defendant and these transactions frequently use the terms ‘combination,’ ‘scheme,’ ‘conspiracy,’ ‘fraudulent arrangement,’ and the like, but I have searched for specific allegations which would justify the sinister meaning evidently intended to be given to them without avail.” / The Justice concludes: “There appears to be no further need to discuss this motion. It is plain to me that apart from other considerations plaintiff has not shown in its moving papers such a clear right to the relief sought pendente lite as would warrant this court to intervene in behalf with injunctions, which would in all likelihood do irreparable injury to the defendant. Motion denied, with $10 costs.” / On the strength of Justice Delany’s decision the Universal Film Manufacturing Company announces that it will make application for an injunction restraining the New York Moton Picture Company from using the name “Bison” and “Bison-101” and also from the use of property and plant at Los Angeles, Cal.

[Advertisment in Moving Picture World, 26 October 1912, page 312] New Contract Made with Miller Bros. / Baumann and Kessel get Wild West Show and will continue releasing Feature Subjects under the name of “Kay-Bee” Films using Miller Bros. entire equipment and aggregation of 300 cowboys and cowgirls, 200 Indians, 600 horses, steers, bison, etc., which they have used in the past year in making and producing the World’s Famous Features under the name of “101” Bison Films, which name has been given to the Universal Co., and which we will discontinue after the release of Friday, October 25, and begin with the new trademark, under the new name of “Kay-Bee” Films for the New York Motion Picture Co., and Broncho Films for the Broncho Motion Picture Co., exclusively, and for no other concern, produced under the direction of Thos. H. Ince, the greatest Motion Picture Director in the World. Remember, the last release of “101” Bison Films by us is on Friday, October 25.

[Moving Picture World, 26 October 1912, page 355] All Suits Are Off / Amicable Settlement of the Litigation Between the New York Motion Picture Company and the Universal Company Effected. / Announcement is made in the advertising pages of this issue of the Moving Picture World by both parties to the litigation that all suits between the New York Motion Picture Company and the Universal Film Manufacturing Company have been settled and discontinued. These actions arose out of the withdrawal of the New York interests from the Universal Company. / Both sides are claiming a victory, which would indicate that all parties are fully satisfied with the termination of the contest and the terms of settlement. It is reported that Messrs. Baumann and Kessell made a cash payment of $17,500, relinquished their right to the trade-mark “Bison” and “‘101’-Bison” and returned some $400,000 worth of securities which represented the price paid for the New York Company’s interests when it was purchased by the Universal. The New York Company retains its right and title to the several properties in litigation which it was supposed to have turned in to the Universal when the consolidation was made. / As regards the Universal Company, it will now proceed as though the New York Company had never been a party to its formation, with the exception that it now owns the “Bison” trade mark. The New York Company will introduce a new brand to be known as “K-B,” and all future pictures made by that company will be so marked. New contracts have been made with Miller Brothers for the use of their ranch and wild-west outfit and the work of making pictures will be resumed without further interference or recourse to law. / This settlement is one that will be hailed with joy by all exhibitors.

[Moving Picture World, 23 November 1912, page 761] Charles Kessel, the man who helped put the kay in “Kaybee” brand of films, is now in our midst, not as a visitor, but as one of us. He has stratched [sic. — scratched] out the words “of New York,” which used to follow his name, and hereafter the identifying tag will be “of Los Angeles,” for he has come to stay. Even now the real estate agents are hot on his trail and there are prospects that the next letter under this dateline may tell how he has emulated Mr. Lubin and bought a house. / Kessel came here to take charge of all the Kessel-Baumann properties, which include the plants formerly of the Bison and New York Motion Picture Company at Edendale and Santa Monica, and the properties of the Keystone, Broncho and Kaybee (formerly Bison-101) motion picture companies. / His first concern will be to launch the second weekly release ol the Keystone company. This will mean hiring new actors and providing new accommodations. It is too early to fix the date for the new release, but the expectation is that it will be out in about six weeks from this publication. / Meanwhile “Doc” Willat, who came with Kessel, is superintending vast alterations in the plant. The indications are that the present plant, which is no mean one, will be torn down and rebuilt. Already plans have been drawn for a new factory and Willat brought a complete outfit of new cameras, part of which went to the Edendale studio and the rest to the studio in Santa Monica canyon. A new stage is being built at Edendale this week for the use of the second Keystone company and a great deal of new scenery is being painted. All this represents a considerable financial layout, but the new organization seems to be sparing no expense.

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