Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
37417 Niles Blvd, Fremont, CA 94536, United States
Review №1

The museum is amazing, with old artifacts of the early movie theaters and silent studios. The guided tour was so wonderful -- you get to hear how Fremont was Hollywood before Hollywood was more than a neighborhood of LA; how the NilesTheater had a secret vault and what was in it,... Check their web site for weekend silent movie showings with live piano accompaniment. Its sort of steam punky and awesome!

Review №2

Great historic museum. Buster Keaton is one of the greatest lesser known actors of American Film and to this day one of my favorite actors of all times. Chaplin is a great one too but much better well known.This museum is great to get an insight of the genre of film that launched the Film Industry and revolutionized entertainment.If you ever have the chance to see a REAL silent movie in a REAL theater than do it. its quiet and experience

Review №3

Wonderful group of volunteers who keep the history of the movies made here alive and interesting. Hoping to return again and again. Great weekend.

Review №4

Thats the place where Chaplin was building his career. Atmosphere inside the museum allows you to feel the times of early 1900th. Moreover, you can see how movies were made at that time. Local guide will tell you a lot of other amazing facts about Niles and filmography. Even if youre not a fan of old films, you should see this place at least once and dive into atmosphere of 1900th.

Review №5

This is another of Fremont’s gems. If you’re a fan of silent films or enjoy movie history, this a must see. The museum is modest but very interesting and continues to grow funded by donors. And every Saturday night and Sunday afternoon (mostly) silent films are shown in the old theater that has been fixed up to look as it did when Charlie Chaplin and Bronco Billy Anderson made films in the Niles area. One of the most interesting parts of the theater is its original projection room that had been sealed up for decades when the theater was sold with its original projection equipment in place.

Review №6

Amazing!!!!!! Lots of. Silent film history. Great movies playing weekends. A nice gift shop. $$ attendant was knowledgeable friendly and helpful.

Review №7

Very informative and awesome place to know about the history of films. They have a show on Saturday as well. They have multiple models of cameras and artifacts from the silent film era and an actual ticket booth!

Review №8

100 year old silent movie theatre and museum showing movies with live piano accompaniment.

Review №9

More people should know about this place! So fabulously quirky, and a sincere throwback to yesteryear. I love the dedication of the staff

Review №10

Wowww, its definitely a time travel by a century. Awesome...

Review №11

Very interesting historical spot to learn history about the Niles town and area.

Review №12

Great Lovecraft films with the director of the silent feature, The Call of Chthulu, speaking last Sunday.

Review №13

Loved the trip to yesteryear in quaint Niles, CA. Hopefully the town wont change too much. Silent Film Museum was amazing. Need to go back to soak it all in. Highly recommend visiting this town!

Review №14

Come and see!Fascinating place, great exhibition, very knowledgeable and interesting docent, lots of stories buried in this Jewel of Nile!

Review №15

A treasure of cinematic history and promoter of early film. Wonderful and unique.

Review №16

This is a cool little museum out in the boonies. We didnt know they showed silent films as well, as we didnt go on that day. Quite a drive out there. Make plans to see other things.

Review №17

Interesting stop on our visit to Niles. Our docent was very knowledgeable and it was a nice tour. Id like to go back and enjoy a movie! Its tiny and the gift shop is bigger than the museum itself. Worth a look!

Review №18

My father took all us kids there and we had a really good time. When I say kids we are all in our 60s.

Review №19

Lovely old time theater. Watch movies like they did in the 20s. Silent with live musical accompaniment.

Review №20

Very good, interesting. Much better than todays movies. Staff there was very nice and showed us around the theater.

Review №21

A great experience! Brought the family here. Fun way to learn history and have a wonderful time. First time people get to go into the projection room which was sealed for 80 years. We will be going again.

Review №22

If you enjoy local history, the Museum is a treasure trove of local history....and its connection to the film industry. They also show Silent Movies every Saturday night. The piano accompianist is remarkable, playing background music for the movie with no sheet music and playing non stop for the length of the show. Amazing!! Now thats Talent. The evening we attended the movies, there were quite a few school aged children in the audience. I thought they would be bored because they were used to all the modern movie technology, but to my surprise, they were loving it all. Some school classes go there as a field trip and make their own videos at the location spots they had seen in the movies. There is a walking tour of all the historic locations. A definite Must Visit!

Review №23

They had some cool stuff on display. Old time movie cameras, pictures of Charlie Chaplin making movies or just walking around town, and old movie clips running in different areas. On Saturday nights they run a full length silent movie and have a piano player accompany the film just like they did in the old days.

Review №24

Interesting look at movie place that pre dates Hollywood with silent films.

Review №25

I have been living in and around Niles all of my life.I was walking through Niles with a friend from out of town and we walked into the Museum. I believe our tour guide had mentioned the Museum had opened in 2012.I had been living away from my hometown for several years.Was really nice to discover this Museum, the tour guide was knowledgable, and friendly.I learned a few things that I didnt already know, saw the theater that featured silent movies, saw the projection room full of old reels, and antique equipment.My friend was very impressed to learn that nearby Niles Canyon was frequently used as a backdrop for some of the movies for Bronco Billy and Charlie Chaplin.There were framed photographs on the walls of the bungalows that housed the casts and crews in the alleys behind the buildings on the main street, also a souvenir shop.We very much enjoyed the display of antique clothing worn for that period.No fee to enter or tour, however, a donation jar is on the counter if you wish to support their efforts.Large parking lot across the street for free parking.Enjoy!

Review №26

This is another of Fremont’s gems. If you’re a fan of silent films or enjoy movie history, this a must see. The museum is modest but very interesting and continues to grow funded by donors. And every Saturday night and Sunday afternoon (mostly) silent films are shown in the old theater that has been fixed up to look as it did when Charlie Chaplin and Bronco Billy Anderson made films in the Niles area. One of the most interesting parts of the theater is its original projection room that had been sealed up for decades when the theater was sold with its original projection equipment in place.

Review №27

Lotsa fun and we learned a bunch about Niles and its part in creating the film industry today. Very interactive, it did not disappoint.

Review №28

Funky but wonderful museum, screening room and gift shop. Every kind of cool thing you can think of relating to the early days of film. Flip books, zoetropes, t-shirts, posters, etc. check out their historical tours.

Review №29

Took me back the memory lane. Oh what a beautiful place and thanks to the curators and contributors and donators to keep this place running. One shouldnt miss their film screening.. just got old times sake. Support local business.

Review №30

What a gem! I love this nostalgic museum... quaintly nestled in downtown Niles. I loved the Ronald J Fields film night which showcased the movie... David Copperfield... featuring his grandfather WC Fields.

Review №31

The good folks that operate Niles Essanay Museum are hard working dedicated, knowledgeable and very kind people.If you havent visited this place yet, I highly recommend that you add the Niles Essanay Museum to your list of must sees.It has a plethora of historical items and stories that will make you feel like you have stepped back in time in a very good way.

Review №32

Enough exhibits to fill the senses taking you back to the silent era. Great folks running the museum and souvenirs at very reasonable prices. No entrance fee allows for a souvenir or two.

Review №33

Small museum with some good photos and itemsyou can check out the museum first, then go to the near by park to enjoy nature

Review №34

Nice little museum and gift shop devoted to the film history of Niles

Review №35

Cute museum. Lots of original film equipment, Charlie Chaplin memorabilia, and a real silent movie theatre! A cute place to visit and learn more about Chaplin and silent films.

Review №36

Amazing lessons in history. Well preserved and presented. And just fun.

Review №37

Quaint, charming, interesting and fun! Catch the silent film nights!!

Review №38

Nice small theater filled with history. Enjoyable silent films with perfect piano accompaniment.

Review №39

Love this place! Went there for a Laurel and Hardy film festival. It was so much fun. David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely, the postman, on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, was a special guest at the theater that day. This place is great fun for the entire family!

Review №40

We drive from Stockton to Niles every couple of months for comedy nights. Our kids have developed a true love of silent films because of what this museum has done. Love them!

Review №41

A true local treasure!

Review №42

They bring the history of the silent movie era alive with stories and historical artifacts. The store sells fun flip books, wooden toys for kids, classic old movies. You can take a tour of the theater and watch a silent movie. You can also rent out the theater.

Review №43

I had a blast! I had no idea this place existed untill last night. Check with them as to which films are showing for that evening. Saturday nights are comedy. Last night had 4 comedy shorts by Charley Chaplin, Buster Keton, Laurel and Hardy.... between viewings are short fun lectures or better described stories and fun facts about each movie and about the movies made at the film studio that was in operation in the Freemont -Niles area in the 1910s and 1920s. The museum has displays of vintage cameras, props, costumes, photos ....all the equipment used at the time. Also a short visit to the projection room that had been boarded up for 80 years. Very casual and fun.

Review №44

Nice little museum with a great little gift shop. You can buy old Chaplin movies.

Review №45

Really enjoyed this cool little museum. The antique film projectors and old photos were really cool.

Review №46

Cute interesting place

Review №47

I wish they were opened more often per week!

Review №48

This is a nice little day trip we didnt get to see everything . so will be going back but the museum is nice to get to see where Charlie Chaplin made a few short films and there re storing it is nice. We stumbled on this Place on a accident So well go back and make it a full day

Review №49

Very interesting look at the bay area place in the early days of movie making

Review №50

Wonderful , most of earlier Charlie Chaplin movies were made here

Review №51

A fun stop!

Review №52

A cultural cornerstone of the area. Their walking tour is an enjoyable and informative stroll about the neighborhood loaded with historical insights and anecdotes, definitely recommended if you havent been to the area before. The exhibits are highly accessible; no ropes or glass keeping you from getting a close up look at their collection of vintage moviemaking equipment. The staff is friendly and interactive, happy to relate more information. Ask for a tour of the original projection room!

Review №53

Niles silent film Museum is a treasure for the community it is rich with silent film history. Here you can learn about Essanay Silent Film Studio where Charlie Chaplin film three of his movies and who was Bronco Billy?

Review №54

Nice little silent film studio good movies

Review №55

Everyone is so brilliant here and this is such a special place! I took my students here with special needs and they were so good to them

Review №56

Cool little place seemingly in the middle of nowhere. They saw silent movies with a piano every weekend.

Review №57

This is a very cool museum of the early days of film making in the area.

Review №58

Nice and small, attracting knowledgeable and deeply interested people, who will gladly tell about its history and projectors on display. Worth a visit.

Review №59

I was heartbroken when I found out the museum is only open sat and sun

Review №60

Step back in time, see old pictures produced in the town of Niles. Fun place!

Review №61

Great time to meet Charlie chaplain

Review №62

Must see place for film buffs. Historic theater dating back to around 1915

Review №63

If you are interested in silent film, this is a must visit.

Review №64

Great place to visite, youll learn a lots

Review №65

Really cool place to visit.

Review №66

Good old machine displays.

Review №67

Great for kids & adults of all ages!

Review №68

This place is very cool

Review №69

Got to meet surprise guest Mr Mcfeely at a Laural and Hardy film festival

Review №70

Great experience

Review №71

My boys and i love this place

Review №72

Interesting museum for film history buffs.

Review №73

Beautiful memories of Charlie Chaplin

Review №74


Review №75

Everyone should pop into this at least once.

Review №76

Cool Niles history

Review №77

Novel and interesting.

Review №78

Go there!! Neat place!!

Review №79

Small but amazing

Review №80

Very static presentation with a gallery of photos and old filming equipment.

Review №81

Was a silent movie theater and is again along with a museum and items of merchandise from that era.

Review №82

Nice free Sunday

100 Photos
4.7 Rating
  • Address:37417 Niles Blvd, Fremont, CA 94536, United States
  • Site:
  • Phone:+1 510-494-1411
  • Museum
  • Tourist attraction
Working hours
  • Monday:Closed
  • Tuesday:Closed
  • Wednesday:Closed
  • Thursday:12–4pm
  • Friday:12–4pm
  • Saturday:Closed
  • Sunday:Closed
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