Chicago, May 2.


    From reliable sources here it was learned the Max Linder is really ill, though a denial was made by Essanay last week. It was first thought that the French comedian was suffering from old wounds incurred while driving a war ambulance, but it is now said that he has incurred pulmonary trouble and might seek a cure in New Mexico. As yet nothing has been announced regarding discontinuance of Linder comedies. Linder is still near Los Angeles, resting at a hotel in the suburbs, known as Beverly Hills.

   With the discharge of over fifty persons by Essanay several weeks ago there has been a marked decrease in activity at the Chicago studio. Among those removed from the payrolls were several directors, screen artists and a number of technical men. The weeding out came after George K. Spoor is reputed to have said that he has lost $250,000 in the last two years. There is a report current the Chicago plant will gradually lessen production, while increased output will come from the studios at Niles and Los Angeles. (Variety, May 4, 1917)