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Panorama from Times Building, New York
Panorama from Times Building, New York (1905)
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The camera is high above Manhattan near the top of the Times Building, pointing down. We see the edge of the parapet where the camera operator stands. The shot pans up, revealing first a four-story building next to the Times, then taller buildings in the neighborhood, and slowly an island full. We look across Manhattan, a bridge in the distance. Then a second shot starts at Bryant Square beneath, and pans from right to left, we see the hippodrome, buildings filling every block, the Hotel Gerald, water towers atop low buildings, a large church, and then the intersection of Broadway and Seventh - Times Square.
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1905
Panorama from Times Building, New York (1905)
Ausstan
Ausstan
Panoramic views of cityscapes are always interesting and this film, shot on a sunny day in April 1905 by future movie director Wallace McCutcheon (who would, I believe, eventually be replaced by a young D. W. Griffith at Biograph a couple of years after this film was shot) is no exception.

The film begins with a vertical pan before a second shot scans the city's rooftops. Over 100 years ago New York was already a sprawling mass of closely gathered buildings but by contrast the streets were relatively clear. On a main thoroughfare only a handful of vehicles can be seen. It would be interesting to go back to that day to discover how quiet the city streets were, how clean the air...
Fiarynara
Fiarynara
This is a wonderful film and it's not surprising that I loved it--I'm a retired history teacher. It shows a 2 minute long clip of the skyline in New York City. There are a few things of note. First, the panoramic shots are pretty unusual for 1905--and it's not a static shot. Second, I loved seeing long-gone buildings--like New York's old Hippodrome. The Hippodrome was, at the time, the largest theater in New York. But it was FAR more than a theater--it was HUGE. It could seat over 5000 and had many spectacles there--from performances by Houdini, circuses, opera and elephant acts. Sadly, however, the operating expenses were great and the place was closed permanently in 1939.

Here is an interesting twist. Naturally a goofy old ex-history teacher would love it, but my 17 year-old happened to be standing nearby and she stopped and marveled at the city and the camera-work--wondering HOW they got these great shots and how dangerous it all appeared. Maybe this film isn't just for history nuts!
Tall
Tall
The movie has an exceptional historical value but what a poor camera operator! Instead of doing a all-around circular shot, the camera goes first from his foot to the sky! Then right to left with the same view than before! It's true that at this time the skyline was less full but however you can already feel than NYC was a megalopolis with buildings really everywhere! It took me ages to find the actual location and i tried to find again this great looking gothic building we see but i failed: the place has changed totally and actually it's a shame that this Old Times Building (now One Times Square) has become just walls to put advertising! It says a lot about the city! I surely passed by it while finishing my trip in NYC because my hotel was just up Times Square on the 7th avenue.