Before Hollywood the majority of film studios were in the tri state area .This was during the silent film era. Many were made right here on long Island. The south shore of long island was an ideal spot to shoot their films because of the lighting needs of the films of the time, everything needed to be filmed in bright light or the movies would be too dark. One of these early studios was called Vitagraph, their main studio built around 1906 In Flatbush Brooklyn that is still in use today. Vitagraph built a branch in Bayshore in 1915 that still stands today. Many locals were used as extras in these early movies and some of the stars of the time lived near the studios, Actress Anita Stewart owned a home in Brightwaters. One or two short films would be produced in a week.
There are many reasons why the film studios moved to the west coast. The warm, sunny weather in California meant they could film year round without many days of rain. They did not have to worry as much about lawsuits and restrictions they had in New York. Thomas Edison's Studios in New Jersey held most of the early patents for filmmaking and demanded royalties, many companies folded because of this. After the majority moved to what once was a sleepy town called Hollywood, New Yorks only film offices were used mainly for business and finance.