Born Alfred Ernest Christie, in London, Ontario, Canada, he was one of a number of Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood who made their way to Hollywood, California, attracted by the newly developing motion picture business. Al Christie began his career in 1909 working for David Horsley's Nestor film company. In 1910, at Horsley's Centaur Film Company, Al Christie began turning out one single reel of a Mutt and Jeff comedy picture every week. The following year, Christie went to the West Coast to head up Nestor Studios for Horsley. This operation was the first ever movie studio to be built in Hollywood.
In 1916, he and his brother, Charles Christie, established their own production company, Christie Film Company. They created feature length films and short comedies. During his time in the film business, Al Christie was the author of 95 screenplays and directed and or produced more than 200 motion pictures. He and his brother, Charles also built Hollywood's first luxury hotel. However, his motion picture company was a victim of the Great Depression and closed its doors. Unable to find work in the film industry, he turned to selling real estate to earn a living.
In 1926, Al Christie, along with actress Vera Steadman and Mrs. H. Prevost, mother of fellow Canadian actress Marie Prevost, was in a car accident in Florida. They had been attending the Biscayne Bay Regatta. Mr.Christie, the driver, and Ms. Steadman suffered only minor injuries but Mrs. Prevost was killed.
Al Christie died on Charles' 71st birthday after a lengthy illness. He is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, California. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6771 Hollywood Boulevard.