In 1917 the film industry underwent a depression. Studios laid off people, the quantity of films produced declined, a number of theatres closed their doors, and in general there were hard time. One trade publication carried the statement that, so far as it knew, not a single studio anywhere in the United States - and by this time California was included as an important film making center - was earning any money. All were operating at a loss. Edwin Thanhouser took the opportunity to acquire land on Long Island and plan for the home of his dreams. Gradually the Thanhouser Film Corporation phased out its activities, and by the end of the summer of 1917, the studio had been leased to another company, the Clara Kimball Young Film Corporation. In robust financial condition, with a six-figure balance in the bank, the Thanhouser Film Corporation simply closed up shop. It left a rich legacy, amounting to over 1,000 different films.
The Thanhouser Company is but a memory, but its films live on and remind us of a sentimental era of long ago, when movies were a new feature of American entertainment, and for a nickel at the local theater one could see what happened as the train thundered down the track towards the helplessly tied heroine, or Florence LaBadie jumped from an ocean liner to elude the villains, or the owner of a New Rochelle mansion was lifted by airship from the roof to evade capture by a secret band of Russian terrorists.