Alexander Film Company (aerial)

Alexander Film Company aerial photo

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Alexander Film Company was founded by the Alexander brothers, J. Don and Don M. Alexander, in Spokane, WA in 1919. The boys purchased a defunct motion picture advertising firm and started building their company.

The business outgrew their Spokane facilities, and in 1923 the Alexander Film Company moved to a studio in Englewood, Colorado. Covering nearly two city blocks and featuring an imposing administration building, the larger facility enabled the firm to expand its sales.

Alexander moved to Colorado Springs in April, 1928. The firm had purchased 260 acres of land on North Nevada for a new plant, which was under construction. The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce had purchased an additional 90 acres of land for an airfield and had raised $50,000 in private subscriptions to insure the firm's relocation in the city.

Because of the popularity of movies during the 1930s depression and WWII, the company had sustained growth in the production and sale of its advertising films. By the early Fifties, the Alexander Film Company was producing between 2,000 and 3,000 films annually, and maintained a library of films covering 8,200 subjects. Colorado Springs production facilities included a large sound stage capable of housing 32 full-size sets; laboratories for complete black and white and color film processing; a sound recording department; and an art department capable of creating cartoon animation, stop motion, backgrounds and other special effects. The company employed 600 people in Colorado Springs, and the annual payroll exceeded $2,500,000.

The company produced film for 75 of America's leading manufacturers including General Motors, U. S. Rubber, Ford, Philco, Hotpoint and Seven-Up. Regional offices were established in Dallas, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

With the introduction of television and the closing of neighborhood theaters throughout the U.S., Alexander Film Company turned to producing TV commercials. However, the firm was a non-union organization, and because its films did not have a union label they were blacklisted by union technicians and cameramen. When the management of the firm refused to allow its workers to unionize, it became impossible for national advertisers who used Alexander to air their commercials. The firm did have some success in the local and regional television markets of Denver, Salt Lake City, Omaha, Dallas and Oklahoma City, but competition from local producers was impossible to overcome.

In the 1960s the family sold the company, and until the early 1980s, Alexander continued to operate on a smaller scale at the facility pictured above. In 1983, owner Don Hawks moved their operations to offices on Elkton Drive near Garden of the Gods Road, and in the 1990s, owners Regina and Andy Hutchinson moved it to a monumental dome near Academy Boulevard and Palmer Park Boulevard in Colorado Springs. It continued to operate as a small video production and duplication facility using the Alexander name until at least 2009, when the trademark owners forced the company to change its name. The property shown above was sold, and in 2002 the buildings were renovated for various industrial uses. ARG! Cartoon Animation leased its current studio facility there in April, 2007.

Source: 2009 Alexander Film Company press release
 

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