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Monday, 06 June, 2005

Old Newsreels
(with comments)

At the Internet Archive, about 600 Universal Newsreels.

In the pre-TV era, people saw the news every week in their neighborhood movie theaters. Newsreels were shown before every feature film and in dedicated newsreel theaters located in large cities. Universal Newsreel, produced from 1929 to 1967, was released twice a week. Each issue contained six or seven short stories, usually one to two minutes in length, covering world events, politics, sports, fashion, and whatever else might entertain the movie audience. These newsreels offer a fascinating and unique view of an era when motion pictures defined our culture and were a primary source of visual news reporting.

Universal City Studios gifted Universal Newsreel to the American people, put the newsreels into the public domain, and gave film materials to the National Archives in 1976.

The still image shown here is from a 1959 newsreel that focuses on the new star required on the flag when Alaska became a state.


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