[Konvas] San Francisco - 1906 in HD - YouTube

colcam at aim.com colcam at aim.com
Mon Dec 21 12:16:38 EST 2015

Rita-- in 1906 there were seventeen motion picture "halls" in San Francisco, what we call theaters today, as listed in the buildings and businesses destroyed in the earthquake of April 18, 1906.  ONE projector was salvaged and put in a big tent and was back in operation immediately and San Francisco gave a special award to Sid Grauman for helping spur the rebuilding of the city. 

Read the plaque at the end of the movie and you'll see who financed it, and why.




-----Original Message-----
From: Speedbird at acousticturtle.plus.com <speedbird at acousticturtle.plus.com>
To: cinema <cinema at konvas.org>
Sent: Mon, Dec 21, 2015 11:20 am
Subject: [Konvas] San Francisco - 1906 in HD - YouTube


This is the one Adam.

I have watch this film over and over again. Archive films just fascinate me, especially this one.

Why?  Because it's one of the early ones and it's been restored. Speed has been corrected, contrast has been restored so you are looking at it as a fresh film just as if it was taken yesterday. But look at the information it is giving you, not just its historic value but the content.
If you wanted to recreate a similar scene for a film and you had the budget to do it you would not be able to achieve what you see on the above film. The street scene above is probably a typical everyday scene in SFO in 1906 BUT with a lot of added extras. The filming was planned and prepared way ahead of the shooting date. I suggest that they also advertised in the SFO main stream newspapers that a filming event was going to take place and invited certain parties to attend in what ever which way they can. They also adapted a hand cranker to take a much larger magazine. This was a precision engineering job which was probably done by the camera manufacturer after all it had to be light tight and a method of turning the drum mag through he camera onto the the take up drum mag has to be devised. This took money so somebody had to pick up the tab. WHO? What was the purpose of this film and how were they going to show it, what projector could take this film length. How many cinema
 's were 
 there in 1906. None!  There were travelling picture houses but this was not a drama production so would not be interested in a short film about Market st. SFO.  So the mystery is why was the film commissioned. Is it part of a feature film and used that way or was it commissioned by the tourist board or Trade and Industry. Was it a rich mans fancy! An ego trip for him and his friends. Some of those men in cars  are wearing expensive suits and seem to enjoy meandering in front of the camera. Cars turn around and are eager to be in the shot again. A camera in those days was a novelty and so attracted a lot of interest especially from youngsters, they are always willing to perform if asked.
Adults have a different agenda and are suspicious of any movie camera especially then even though still camera's had been around for 50 years. I have asked NFA London to check with SFO newspapers to see if they ran a story before or after the shoot. Because many people in the close shots were pre warned of the filming event and made a special effort to be there. The cameraman intended to film from start to finish but over the years the beginning seem to have suffered and could not be saved in its entirety. But they have made a superb job in digitising it.

I have studied archive films for many years but this one has baffled me. It's like looking at an oil painting, you know it's not quite right and some trickery is involved somewhere. Perhaps the newspapers of 1905-1906 may reveal all!!!


WE COULD REALLY USE YOUR HELP! The sharing of information on both the Konvas.org website and the discussion list takes a lot of time and costs money.

Your donations help keep Konvas.org running and are very much appreciated:

Cinema mailing list
Cinema at konvas.org
http://Konvas.org - All about Konvas, Kinor and other Russian Cinema Cameras

Visit the discussion archives:

Join the Konvas Discussion List:

Please be kind when replying and crop the replied message!!!

More information about the Cinema mailing list