We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 37417 Niles Blvd., Fremont, CA 94536
Phone Number: (510) 494-1411
Improve this listing
See all hours
Sat - Sun 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 15 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 9
  • 6
    Very good
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Silent Movies at their Best

Take a step back in time - silent movies were made here, by only the best. Lots of history here, the photos are revealing - try to envision present-day Niles in that older era... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 16, 2015
Robert R
Sunnyvale, California

Similar Things to Do in Fremont

Add Photo Write a Review

15 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Rate and write a review
Roll over, then click to rate
  Click to rate
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2015

Take a step back in time - silent movies were made here, by only the best. Lots of history here, the photos are revealing - try to envision present-day Niles in that older era. It must have been spectacular.

1 Thank Robert R
Fremont, California
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015 via mobile

Lots of background info from folks who work there. Good piano accompaniment. Decent popcorn and drink prices. Fun atmosphere.

1 Thank moniboni2015
Fairborn, Ohio
Level Contributor
72 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2015

Significant California film history started in Niles. I was born and raised in Niles and was aware of the legends (including Charlie Chaplin and Ben Turpin, and others) making early films in Niles. A family legend is that my Grandfather's (Frank J. Garcia's) farm was used in early Western films. I can remember Niles having "Essanay Days" in the b1950s... More 

Thank Laurelandbetsy
Fremont, California
Level Contributor
3,252 reviews
2,108 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,873 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014

There is a small silent film museum in historic Niles area of Fremont open for a few hours each week-end. In addition, usually on Saturday night, there are silent movies - check their web site for what is playing. Its a small place but great for seeing the silent films and listen to live piano music. A fun historic way... More 

Thank mini
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
77 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

If you have not watched a silent film with LIVE piano playing you have missed an important part of our culture. On most Saturday nites, for a mere $5pp, you can be treated to the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Bronco Billy and a host of talented folks you might not even know about. And once a month they... More 

6 Thank Barbara B
Fremont, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

For the last couple of years, I was aware that the silent film museum was open, and really did not venture in. For a long, long, long time, the building was an old camera shop and studio, so I didn't bother to explore it. But, a couple of months ago while strolling between antique stores and boutique shops, I took... More 

3 Thank s2global
Fremont, CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

the museum captures a lot of the flavor of the silent film era. The feature we saw was a historical documentary on the cliff house in San Francisco

Thank GLO_Fremont
Fremont, California
Level Contributor
504 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 240 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

This is a very special place in Fremont, California. This silent film museum shows silent films at a very low cost. The museum is great for history buffs. It is location in the Niles section of Fremont.

Thank MihirMeghani
Depoe Bay, Oregon
Level Contributor
33 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

The home for Charlie Chaplin films, this a working man's movie hall that lacks frill and has hard chairs (take a pillow.) Piano players change but ya, the B&W films did not rely on sound. For a feel of how it was, it is. Historic pre-Hollywood, that is Niles. Well worth you time and still cheap, as working cinema was... More 

1 Thank TommyMack
Montclair, VA
Level Contributor
112 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

If you are in the East Bay area and looking for something to do, take a short drive towards Fremont to visit Niles and its silent movie museum. The museum is on the site of the old Essanay film studio; the movie home of the first cowboy film star, Bronco Billy Anderson, and Charlie Chaplin. It's time well spent if... More 

2 Thank readem

Travelers who viewed Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum also viewed


Been to Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?