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Demolishing and Building Up the Star Theatre (1901)

Unrated | | Documentary, Short | April 1901 (USA)
Time-lapse photography is used to show the manual dismantling and demolition of New York's Star Theatre over a period of about 30 days.

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(uncredited)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Storyline

This film shows the demolition of the historic Star Theatre building (formerly Wallack's) at the corner of Broadway and 13th Street, New York. To secure this unique picture a Biograph camera was kept constantly at work by specially devised electric apparatus for weeks, during which time exposures were made every four minutes, 8 hours a day. Before the contractors began their work of tearing down and after the last vestige of the building had been removed, 15 seconds of exposure at normal speed were made. Thus in the finished positive one views at first the old Star Theatre standing as it had for years looking down with serenity upon the bustle of Broadway traffic. Then as if struck by a tornado of supernatural strength, the building begins to crumble. Chimneys totters, walls cave in, and whole stories vanish, until at last the site shows only a cellar excavation; and the Broadway cars with the sidewalk procession continue as if nothing unusual had happened. When this view is shown in ... Written by AMB Picture Catalogue (1902)

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

Certificate:

Unrated
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Release Date:

April 1901 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Building Up and Demolishing the Star Theatre  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the 50 films in the 4-disk boxed DVD set called "Treasures from American Film Archives (2000)", compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 18 American film archives. This film was preserved by the Library of Congress. This version has a piano music score and runs 96 seconds. See more »

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User Reviews

4 from Unseen Cinema
7 March 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Skyscrapers of New York from the East River (1903)

*** (out of 4)

A camera is placed on a boat and we get another view of the buildings in NYC. I'm not sure what time this film was shot but the streets are pretty empty.

Panorama from Tower of Brooklyn Bridge (1903)

*** (out of 4)

Biograph film from director Billy Blitzer who would eventually become famous for his work with D.W. Griffith. It's also worth noting that this was shot in 65mm.

Demolishing and Building Up the Star Theatre (1901)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Early gimmick film from Biograph uses exposures caught every four minutes to see the Star Theatre being built. At the end of the film the footage is shown backwards to bring the thing down.

Coney Island at Night (1905)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Edison film directed by Edwin S. Porter shows just what the title says. This film really isn't too interesting but it's worth noting that this was one of the first film that could show glowing lights thanks to a special camera built by Porter.


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