Nöggerath’s Film Studio in Sloten
In September 1911, Filmfabriek F.A. Nöggerath opened its own film studio on the Sloterdijk in Amsterdam. F.A. Nöggerath, jun. rented a country estate called Vredelust from J.C.L. Silberling, an ornament manufacturer, and built a small wooden building there to serve as his studio. It had a glass roof to allow natural light in, making it possible to record indoors. The studio was located on a piece of pastureland with plenty of space for filming outside. In addition to the studio, there was also a building where an office and a workshop were located.
Previously, Nöggerath had a film studio on the roof of Variété Flora and, after that was destroyed in a fire in 1902, on the Herengracht in Amsterdam as well. However, with the facilities at their new location, they would be able to make feature films.
Dreams of a film industry
This was precisely what Nöggerath intended to do. After selecting a group of theatre actors, F.A. Nöggerath, jun. made a number of short feature films during 1911-1913. It was his ambition to provide the Netherlands with its own film industry, but these plans foundered. Production costs skyrocketed, and his own films never took off. After a number of short tragedies, such as De bannelingen and Ontrouw, Nöggerath tried to turn the tide by switching to producing short burlesque films starring popular revue artists, but to no avail.
In her memoires, published in the 1920s in the film magazine ‘Kunst en amusement’, actress and director Caroline van Dommelen wrote that this failure was primarily because of Nöggerath’s unprofessional approach. He took irresponsible financial risks, enthusiastically chasing after his dreams without regard for reality.
After the production of feature films came to a standstill, Nöggerath used the studio to shoot cinematographic inserts for a few revues that were performed in Variété Flora. These were projected in the variety theatre during performances.
The most well-known example of such revues is ‘De nieuwe prikkel’. This was a collaboration between A. van Lier’s Grand Théâtre and the Nederlandsche Biograaf en Mutoscope Maatschappij. Nöggerath himself also had a number of revues that appealed to the imagination, such as Amsterdam op hol! and Breek maar af! (about Simon B. Stokvis and Amsterdam’s Keurbioscoop).