Metro Pictures Corporation was started in 1915 by Richard A. Rowland
and Louis B. Mayer, who owned a group of theaters in Massachusetts. The
company started out distributing films made by Solax Studios which was the
first woman owned studio in the US and very successful.
The offices for Metro were located in New York, but soon they moved
into production utilizing studios in
New York and New Jersey. Metro was very successful and began expanding rapidly.
They moved out west to establish a studio in California at which time Mayer
left to form his own company in 1918 called Louis B. Mayer Pictures. Shown
on the right is a photo of Metro Studios in 1918.
Rowland struggled but some of the major assets of Metro was some
good directors and actors. Among the staff was director Rex Ingram and newly
acquired actor Rudolph Valentino.
In 1920, Marcus Loew was looking to acquire a steady flow of good
films for his theater chain. The acquisition of Metro was looked at as their
However without the managerial skills of Mayer on board, numerous
management problems occurred. As an example, after 4 films, Valentino asked
for $100 a week raise. Metro executive refused giving Famous Players-Lasky
the opportunity to steal him. His next film, the Sheik was a run-away hit
establishing Valentino in the industry.
In October of 1921, Rowland left Metro and the following year became
the General Manager for First National.
The influx of films for the Loew's theaters proved a boost but
Loew was still not satisfied with the quality, quanity or management.
See MGM Article
Here is a list of films in our archive released by Metro Pictures