March 9, 2011

Bowery Boys Look At Manhattan & The Movies

When people think of New York and the movies, you tend to think of how the city has been featured in many classics;  from "Taxi Driver" in the 70's, to "Working Girl" in the 80's, to "Men In Black" in the 90's, and "Sex & The City" in the 'aughts.  However, NYC's movie history as a pretty backdrop runs way more than skin deep.  A lot of people forget that, long before Los Angeles became home to the film industry, it all started here in the city.  And also in New Jersey, at Thomas Edison's Black Maria (left)....America's first movie studio located in glamourous West Orange, NJ.

My favorite local history podcast, The Bowery Boys, takes a look back in their current episode to the start of the film business here in New York and all the various players, many lost to history while some including a fellow named Loew, live on today.  They provide a nearly hour-long overview of the nascent movie business as it got its start before the turn of the century and, in the 10's, started to migrate West where the light was better and the real estate a helluva lot cheaper.  A great listen if you're interested in the history of the movies.

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