George Kirke SPOOR

(Highland Park, 1871-Chicago, 1953)

spoor george portrait

Jean-Claude SEGUIN


Marvin Spoor (New York, 1839-06/12/1927) épouse Katherine Stressinger (New York, 03/1853-1947). Descendance :

  • George Kirke Spoor (Highland Park, 18/11/1871-Chicago, 24/11/19531953) épouse (Milwaukee, 24/11/1892) Ada May Thompson (Chicago, 14/05/1874-Chicago, 06/09/1951). Descendance:
    • Gertrude Keith Spoor (Chicago, 15/07/1893-District de Columbia, 06/04/1975) épouse (Chicago, 19/02/1916) Douglas Lafayette Weart (Chicago, 10/08/1891-Washington, 05/04/1975). Descendance:
      • Gertrude Spoor Weart (Chicago, 1918-)
      • George Spoor Weart (Illinois, [1920]-). Descendance:
        • George "Skip" Spoor Weart (New York, 1948-) épouse (Tulare, 22/07/1978) Cynthia Delane Elliott (Santa Barbara, 17/10/1951-Fort Myers, 02/05/2023)
      • enfant
      • enfant
  • Henry Spoor (1873-)
  • Robert Spoor (1876-)
  • Bella Spoor (1878-)
  • Walter Spoor (1880-)


Les origines (1871-1896)

George Kirke Spoor, à vingt-deux, est directeur du Phoenix Opera House (Grand Opera House) de Waukegan dès [1893].

Le Cinématographe (1897-1906)

En 1897, George Kirke Spoor s'associe à Edward Hill Amet auquel il apporte son soutien économique pour financer son magniscope. 

George K. Spoor, the founder and president of the Geo. K. Spoor Co. and the Essanay Film Manufacturing Co., was born in Highland Park, Ill., in 1871. Although he did not start out in life in the moving picture business, as a boy he had natural inclinations and ideas which pointed in that direction, notwithstanding his unconsciousness of the fact.

Once while turning cart wheels In a meadow near his home, the thought came to him if it would not be possible to get pictures of himself as he performed the boyish stunt —pictures that would show his movement throughout, and not a photograph that would show merely his posture in one position. The idea came like a flash, and was not recalled until many years later, when he became acquainted with E. H. Amet, who invented the magniscope.
Mr. Spoor first actively engaged In the theatrical business, and st the age of twenty-two leased the Opera House at Waukegan, Ill., in which he played traveling combinations for four years and proved a successful manager. It was while managing this theatre that he met Mr. Amet, who resided In Waukegan. In 1896 he became a partner of Mr. Amet, furnishing him financial aid in the completion of the magniscope.
In 1897 Mr. Spoor severed his theatrical connections and took up moving pictures as a specialty, working in connection with his partner. Mr. Amet. His associations with the latter terminated in 1898, when he engaged on his own account to place machines and pictures in vaudeville houses and parks and traveling organizations. This was the beginning of what developed later into the kinodrome service, which now ramifies the entire country.
The kinodrome was built by D. J. Bell and was secured bv Mr. Spoor In 1899. It was so rapidly plaeeo i» vaudeville houses throughout the country that the manufacture of the machine could not keep pace w'th tbe demand.

amet edward 1898 waukegan
Waukegan Weekly Gazette, Waukegan, 11 novembre 1898.

This city, Saturday, Septembre 22, 1900, corner Seventh and Washington, at 8 p. m. Amet magniscope, the wonder of the age, will produce animated and life-like pictures-scenes from real life and Spanish-American War, etc. All come. A special invitation extended to those living out of town to attend this splendid entertainment. Come in; it will pay you.Junction City Republican, Junction City, 21 septembre 1900, p. 2.

Et après... (1907-1953)

Harry Spoor Returns.
Harry Spoor, brother of George K. Spoor, has arrived in America from London for his first visit since 1916. Harry was long ago treasurer of McVicker's Theatre, when "Sandy" Dingwall and Sol Litt operated it as the leading dollar dramatic house of America. He went abroad as the foreign representative of Essanay and introduced the "Broncho Billy" Anderson and the Charlie Chaplin films into England and on the Continent. He has made a fortune abroad and is now the owner of several great properties in the heart of London, and owns and operates one of the leading film theatres in Berlin.
Harry Spoor bought the Berlin house, a 2,000-seat theatre, some time ago, when marks were worth about 2 cents. He bought it on a mark basis, paying in cash a small percentage of the purchase price. Since then he has cleared his debt, buying marks at more than a million for a dollar. The house "stands" him very little, and is one of the most popular and prosperous theatres in Germany.
He is coming home to inspect George K. Spoor's new invention for making three-dimension pictures, upon which work is now starting under the direction of James Young. These pictures will be exploited abroad by Harry Spoor.

The Morning Telegraph, New York, dimanche 4 novembre 1923, p. 1.


TILDESLEY Ruth M., "A Dream Come True", The Motion Picture Director of Hollywood, février 1927, p. 8-11 et 16-17.

"Who's Who in the Film Game", Motography, août 1911, p. 73-74.

SPOOR George K., "Remarkable Growth of Motion Picture Industry", The Moving Picture World, juillet-septembre 1914, p. 191.