Released January 23, 1915
Roscoe Arbuckle was born in Smith Center, Kansas in 1887 and performed in vaudeville as a child. He found himself working the theater circuit on the West Coast and in July 1909 Arbuckle made his first film with the Selig Polyscope Company. In 1913 Arbuckle moved briefly to Universal Pictures and became a star in producer-director Mack Sennett’s Keystone Cops comedies. His comedic talents quickly propelled him into one of the most popular comedy movie actors often starring with Mabel Normand.
Mabel Normand was born Amabel Ethelreid Normand in New Brighton, Staten Island, New York in extreme poverty. She worked as an artist’s model for artists such as Charles Dana Gibson, creator of the Gibson Girl. Normand was working at D W Griffith’s Biograph Company where she met director Mack Sennett. He brought her to Los Angeles, California when he started directing in Edendale for Biograph Studios in 1912. In September 1912 Mabel Normand became the first actress to put on a bathing suit on film when Sennett released his movie featuring himself with Mabel Normand called THE WATER NYMPH filmed at Venice Beach, California.
In conjunction with the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition which is a world’s fair opening soon in San Francisco, the Panama–California Exposition is being held in San Diego, California. The exposition celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal, and was meant to tout San Diego as the first U.S. port of call for ships traveling north after passing westward through the canal. The fair is being held in San Diego’s Balboa Park and opened January 1, 1915. Sennett’s Keystone Pictures sees an opportunity.
On January 23, 1915, FATTY AND MABEL AT THE SAN DIEGO EXPOSITION was released. Keystone had filmed at real-life events before and this gave a chance for their two comedy stars to take advantage of a large fair that was taking place right near their Los Angeles studios.
Watch the entire film here: