Did you know that New Jersey at one time was the epicenter of the film industry? We all know that Thomas Edison invented the first movie camera (the kinetoscope) in New Jersey, but that led to the Garden State fostering the burgeoning motion picture industry.

According to History.com, Fort Lee at one time was home to 11 movie studios. The phrase “cliffhanger” actually was coined in reference to a film series, The Perils of Pauline, where she was dangled off a cliff in the Palisades. Unfortunately, a particularly cold winter sent the industry scrambling to warmer climes where it didn’t cost so much to heat the studios. A coal shortage and the influenza epidemic also contributed to the migration to California. The first movie studio built in Hollywood was constructed in 1911, and, by 1918, the movie industry in New Jersey was just a shell of its former self.

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