George Kleine
Kleine c. 1914
New York, US
DiedJune 8, 1931(1931-06-08) (aged 66–67)
Los Angeles, California, US
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1893-1928

George Kleine (1864 – June 8, 1931) was an American film producer and distributor and cinema pioneer.


Klein's father, Charles, was a New York optician who sold optical devices and stereopticons.[1] Klein joined the family firm, moving to Chicago in 1893 where he set up the Kleine Optical Company. In 1896, the company started selling film-making equipment, and in 1899, the company obtained an exclusive arrangement with Thomas Edison to sell his film and equipment in the Chicago area.[1]

In 1903, Kleine started distributing Biograph films as well as European films and was a pioneer in renting films to theatres. He became involved in patent disputes with Thomas Edison in 1908, causing members of the industry to establish the Motion Picture Patents Company. He founded Kalem Company, an American film studio in New York City in 1907 with Samuel Long,[2] and Frank J. Marion. The company was named for their initials, K, L, and M. Kleine. Klein was involved in the company for only a short period of time; however, it was a profitable investment for him, as his partners were soon successful enough to buy out his shares at a considerable premium.

Kleine was a national distributor of silent movies in the 1910s, a notable example being Essanay Studios 1918 film, “Men Who Have Made Love to Me” starring Mary MacLane.

Kleine retired in 1928[1] and died in Los Angeles, California, in 1931.

His papers are retained by the Library of Congress.[3]



  1. ^ a b c McKernan, Luke. "George Kleine". Who's Who in Victorian Cinema. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  2. ^ "Samuel Long Dead. President of Kalem Company Entered Film Business 18 Years Ago". New York Times. July 29, 1915. p. 9. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  3. ^ "George Kleine papers, 1886-1946". Library of Congress. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  4. ^ "On the coast of the Bay of Biscay, France". Library of Congress. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  5. ^ "Christopher Columbus". Library of Congress. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  6. ^ "The golden lily". Library of Congress. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  7. ^ "Buying a cow". Library of Congress. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  8. ^ "Indians and cow-boys". Library of Congress. Retrieved February 9, 2021.