During the early years of silent British cinema, Torbay was home to two production companies: Raleigh-King Productions/Cairns Torquay Films and Torquay and Paignton Photoplay Productions.
Raleigh-King Productions was based at Watcombe Hall. It was established for actor, director, producer Dallas Cairns who was already making films at Ealing.
Two films were made in 1922, Creation and The Island of Romance. However, it appears as if no prints have survived.
Based in a drill hall in Paignton, Torquay and Paignton Photoplay Productions produced The Great London Mystery (1920), a 12-episode serial starring stage conjurer Davis Devant.
Though not filmed in The Bay, The Man They Couldn’t Hang (1921) was a silent film about Babbacombe John Lee.
Claude Friese-Greene (1898-1943) was a British cinema technician, filmmaker, and cinematographer, making more than 60 films between 1923 and 1943.
From The Open Road, a film of his road trip from Land’s End to John o’Groats, here’s Torre Abbey Sands and Cockington in 1924, re-edited and digitally restored by the BFI National Archive. This was Britain seen in colour for the first time:
More up to date, this is from Cops with Cameras (2008) and features the police arresting a dealer in the Temperance Street multi-storey car park
“Underneath its pleasant facade, there’s a major drugs problem…”