Eyes of the Totem (1927)

An ad for the film from The Tacoma Ledger newspaper

An ad for the film from The Tacoma Ledger newspaper

This silent film was produced by Harvey C. Weaver, who started a production company in Tacoma in 1924 called H.C. Weaver Studios. One of Weaver's investors was Chester Thorne (the founder of Thornewood Castle). 

Eyes of the Totem features exterior shots of Thornewood Castle and shots of the entryway. Viewers may notice that the doors and lighting fixtures as seen in these shots are the same now as they appeared in the film. 

Weaver Studios produced three films in Tacoma. The films were presumed lost for many years until a Tacoma historian discovered The Eyes of the Totem in the archives of the Modern Museum of Art in New York. In 2015, after restoring the film and creating a new soundtrack, the film was screened to the public for the first time since the 1920's.

The event made the news in Tacoma in this May 2015 The News Tribune article:

“A made-in-Tacoma silent movie – thought to be lost forever – has been found in the vaults of a New York City museum and will once again be projected on the big screen.

The intact melodrama, complete with Hollywood stars and scenes of 1926 Tacoma, is being restored for a late summer screening at the Rialto Theater – the first theater it was projected at more than 80 years ago."

View the Re-Premiere Trailer

(Thornewood Castle makes an appearance at 00:28.)

And this longer video of the finding, restoration, and artistic merits of Eyes of the Totem:

Shots of Thornewood Castle from the film: