residents. The filming company borrowed two cows from the Irvine Co. and
proceeded to make the movie "The Sands O'Dee."
However, Newport's first major motion picture was shot five years later
-- "Cleopatra." Theda Bara, who portrayed the Egyptian queen, was taken
down Upper Newport Bay (the Nile) followed by 29 ships, each propelled by
60 oarsmen. The battalion met with 700 Roman soldiers who ran down the
west banks of the bay.
It was reported in the Newport News as "the most magnificent and
spectacular scene ever taken on water."
Following this stellar endorsement, other filmmakers flocked to Newport
to shoot movies on the sand dunes and along the coastal plains, as well
as the bay.
As Newport was still a coastal fishing town, local fishermen were a
logical choice when extras were needed for films being shot on the bay.
In this way, Hollywood could save its leading thespians from drowning,
since most early actors couldn't swim.
Throughout the years, Newport continued to be a popular location for
making movies. Notable films included "Treasure Island" (1934), "Captain
Blood" (1935), "The Sheik" (1921) and "All Quiet on the Western Front"
"Newport Beach: The First Century, 1888-1988," James Felton, Ed., 1988
"A Slice of Orange: The History of Costa Mesa," Edrick J. Miller, 1970.