Archives Month Philly Film Screening – October 28, 2015

screening01screening02October 28, 2015 at 7pm

531 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

A screening of 8 or 9 works, originally on film, that are housed in local Philadelphia repositories. Thanks to the generosity of NFL Films, five of these works were transferred to digital files and are now accessible to the public. They include home movie footage, documentaries and even Muppets! Representatives from all the organizations involved will be on hand to discuss the films and answer questions.

Films contributed by:
University of Pennsylvania, Kislak Center
Hagley Museum and Library
Penn Museum
History Making Productions
Philadelphia City Archives
German Society of Pennsylvania
Fairmount Park Historic Resource Archives

‘Philadelphia Through Different Lenses’ Screening – October 30, 2013

Philadelphia Through Different Lenses
531 N 12th St  Philadelphia, PA 19123
2 blocks east of the Spring Garden station on the Broad Street Line subway (Orange Line)
7:00 PM October 30th, 2013

Philadelphia Through Different Lenses is a screening of recently digitized and preserved Philadelphia-centered films. Not Much to Do tells the story of Philadelphia through the lens of six African-American teenagers in 1966 and material from the Philadelphia Department of Records tells Philadelphia’s story through city government.

Please RSVP for the event here

Facebook event

Not Much To Do, Presbyterian Historical Society

In 1966, six African American boys living in west Philadelphia made a film about their lives. As the newly formed Tabernacle Film Club, the boys conceived, shot, edited, and narrated the film, which they titled Not Much To Do.

With the help of former Tabernacle Federated Church minister Reverend Bob Stoddard and support from the Board of Christian Education and Presbyterian Women of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., funding was secured to undertake the project. Ben Achtenberg, a master’s student at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, was brought on board to direct the film. Achtenberg’s role was to teach the boys filmmaking techniques without influencing the decisions that ultimately would lead to the final cut.

Films from Philadelphia Records Department, City Archives:

Selections of film showing Mayors Clark, Dilworth and Tate addressing the blight and devastating living conditions in several Philadelphia neighborhoods, city initiatives to change conditions through redevelopment efforts, and some youth programs. A staff training film for bus drivers will bring a smile, and Mayor Rizzo makes an appearance shaking hands in Germantown.

Providing good public service – a motto for city government for a long time.

Important People, ca. late 1940’s to early 1950’s – 6 minutes

Three films showing Philadelphia City Government urban redevelopment and renewal activities in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Our Changing City ca. 1952-1955 – 18 minutes; narrated by Sam Serota

The Road Ahead: Milestone 3 ca. 1956-1962 – 2 minutes narrated by Sam Serota

Summer, 1968 – 8 minutes

A sampling of silent footage

Mayor Frank Rizzo in Germantown, 1974 – 2 minutes 15 seconds

Hydrants & Aerials, 1981- 2.5 minutes

Do you hear it? Life in Philadelphia.

Song of Philadelphia, 1961 – 14 minutes; narrated by Dick Clark

In partnership with Azavea and History Making Productions, the Philadelphia Records Department, City Archives has embarked on an exciting project to increase access to films produced by various City Departments from the late 1940’s through the 1980’s. Film experts from History Making Productions ( worked with City Archives staff to identify the contents of the historic film reels and rehouse them in preservation quality vented film cans. Through the generosity of History Making Productions, selected films have been digitally remastered for use in episodes three and four of Philadelphia: The Great Experiment.  Over the next few months, the City Archives will make several of the films available to the public via ( and the Department of Records YouTube channel (