A resource for folks living in or moving to Los Gatos, by Mary Pope-Handy


Screen on the Green in Los Gatos

Every September, the Town of Los Gatos hosts a free movie at Oak Meadow Park in the month of September for kids and kids-at-heart. This is the annual “Screen on the Green“.

In 2018, the movie will be Hotel Transylvania, and it will be September 28th,  2018. We’ll fill you in on the details when the date gets closer.



~~~~~~~~~~~ Info for the 2017 Screen on the Green is below ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Moana - Los Gatos CA Screen on the GreenSeptember 15th’s the night for the 2017 Screen on the Green! Fun activities for children begin at 6:00pm, with train rides, carousel rides, face painting, games and more. The film, Disney’s Moana, will begin at 7:30pm and will be projected onto a 25′ inflatable screen on the meadow. A snack bar will be open from 6:30-8:30pm, so have dinner before or bring a picnic. Bring a picnic and some blankets, then come early to grab a good seat!

Attendees, it is important to bring layers and something low to sit on – blankets, cushions, or low backed lawn chairs, are alright. I always bring a flashlight for after the show. The gopher holes in the lawn are easy to find by accident with your foot.

For additional details, please see the Los Gatos town website page for Screen on the Green:




Lights! Camera! Action!

June 25, 2007

A fascinating, but little known fact of Los Gatos history is that our quaint town has been the setting for
quite a few movies over the years. This was especially true in 1910 and 1911, when the Essanay Film Production Company (“S” and “A” for the initials of the founders) took up residence in the Lyndon Hotel (see image and floorplan) for a few months.

Prolific to the extreme, Essanay cranked out a film a week – sometimes more. In 1911, for instance, they produced 99 silent films!  Not all of these were in Los Gatos, however. (This is the same firm that a little later produced so many movies in the Niles Canyon area of Fremont too.)

Looking for the right climate for their outdoors work, Essanay had moved west from Colorado, landing first in San Jose and then moving the 10 miles further west to Los Gatos. They were able to set up their production studio right behind the Lyndon Hotel, where they resided at the time.  Additionally, they discovered the hamlet of Alma (which was flooded in 1952, along with the town of Lexington, to create the Lexington Reservoir) just up the hill into the Santa Cruz Mountains, and many of their movies were filmed there too.

Unfortunately for the folks at Essanay, the winter of 1910-1911 appears to have been a particularly bad El Nino year. In one four day period in January, the town received 16 inches of rain.  That much water caused countless problems with accessibilty and it convinced the film production company to seek an alternate location after their work ground to a halt for about 5 weeks. So in February of 1911, they left soggy Los Gatos and next went south, toward Los Angeles. Thus ended the brief but prolific history of Los Gatos and the Essanay Film Production Company. They did not stay away from the San Francisco Bay Area for long, though. Later in 1911, Essanay filmed in San Rafael and by 1912 was esconced in Niles.

That was not really the end of the story for Los Gatos, though. A total of 23 films were made here, the most recent of which was just last year, and you can see list by clicking on the link below under more information.

And why should we be surprised? Los Gatos normally has wonderful weather and the beautiful backdrop of the Santa Cruz Mountains (not to mention our lovely older buildings). Imagine how long Essanay might have stayed if it weren’t for a bad bout of El Nino!

For more information:

If you’d like to read more about Essanay, I highly recommend a book I gave to my husband last Christmas, Broncho Billy and the Essanay Film Company. The author is David Kiehn and it was written in 2003. You can order it on Amazon and it is available in some bookstores.

If you’d like more information on which films (older and newer) were made in Los Gatos, The Internet Movie Database has lots of info, both a simplelist of movies made here and also details on each one.

Mary Pope-Handy

Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805

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