The Friends of Vitagraph, together with the Midwood Development Corp, led a Jane’s Walk exploring Midwood’s film industry. The walking tour, “A Film History Grew in Brooklyn,” was held on May 7th.
Participants learned about Midwood before Hollywood! Led by Nellie Perera and Melissa Friedling, this Jane’s Walk through Midwood’s movie and TV-making history took attendees on a guided tour of over 100 years of incredible cultural productivity that happened within a few square blocks. The Vitagraph Company of America built the nation’s first modern film studio in 1906, where it operated until 1925 as one of the most prolific moving picture companies in the world, making Brooklyn the epicenter of film production long before Hollywood. Bought by Warner Brothers in 1926, The Vitaphone Studios, with its early sound-on-disc technology, produced thousands of short and feature films with many stars. In the 1950s, the sound stages became NBC studios, where hundreds of TV specials, series, and variety shows were taped. It all happened here!
And, what’s a Jane’s Walk? Well, it’s a citizen-led walking tour inspired by Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbors.
Thank you to all who participated!