Vitagraph Studios


Before the film industry emerged supreme in Hollywood, Vitagraph was the first Motion Picture Production Company in the United States. It was founded by J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith in 1897. They enjoyed much success. In 1906, a giant studio was built on East 14th St. and Locust Ave. in Brooklyn, NY, in the area known as Midwood.

After creating a long legacy in film and animation, the studio was sadly demolished in 2015, but the famous Smokestack with the Vitagraph Logo still stands. An online petition is in effect to make it a landmark. I believe it deserves to be. Brooklyn is fast losing its classic, gilded age identity.

Save Vitagraph History Facebook Page

Read an article about the demolition with some history of the studio:

Vitagraph Studios, An Early Pioneer of the Film Industry, Is Being Demolished in Midwood Brooklyn

Watch a short Youtube Documentary:

A Brief History of the Vitagraph Studios – A short Film from Tony Susnick

Watch a quirky Vitagraph Movie clip: The Thieving Hand


“A walk through Canarsie”

Found this article in the Brooklyn Courier Life Newspaper. (Too late to go and see it though.) There is a new local documentary about the long history of Canarsie from the 1880’s to its heyday in the 1950’s. It looks like it will be a charming watch with all the interviews and reminiscing.

Watch the interview trailer:

Luna Park, Coney Island in 1903

Posted by Ethel Malley on Youtube: Luna Park, one of the great amusement parks of Coney Island’s Heyday, in 1903. Footage is from “Rube and Mandy’s visit to Coney Island” (Edison Manufacturing Co., 1903). Music is “Meet Me Down at Luna, Lena”, sung by Billy Murray (1905).


Coney Island: New York’s Playground: Dreamland

Documentary created and Uploaded by ethelmalley on Youtube.

The Scott Russo Archives

If you close your eyes you can imagine yourself in that yesteryear walking and touring the spacious Dreamland and all its wonders and little curios. The vision may at first appear jumpy and black and white…and despite everyone animatedly talking and laughing, their voices are silent. The music starts off as if drifting on an echo and grows louder. The fun scenes come into sharper focus, you can smell the tasty foods and salty ocean air and it invigorates all your senses. Daydream a little harder and you will start to see Coney Island of the past in all its colorful glory.