A Short Drive

These films were taken, fully or in part, within a couple hundred miles of Palm Springs, California. The captions in [brackets] include labels from the original item in “quotation marks.” We add estimated dates and other details.

#51. [“California (Calico) Ghost Town, Lake”, 1950s.] 8mm. Color.
#164. [“Southern Calif. and Mexico,” ca. 1950s.] 8mm. Color.
#116. [“Farmers’ Market, Universal Studios, Part I”, ca.1974.] Super 8mm. Color.
#87. [“Memorial Day,” — San Diego to Tijuana, ca.1960s.] 8mm. Color.
#139. [“Laguna Vacation, Disneyland, 1960.”] 8mm. Color.
#108. [Hearing Impaired People on Catalina, 1949-1950.] 8mm. Color.
#81. [“Kodachrome Color, California,” — Santa’s Village, ca.1950s.] 8mm. Color. Includes great footage of Santa’s Village near Lake Arrowhead.
#80. [“Big Bear Lake,” ca.1940s-50s.] 8mm. b/w.

Coming Attractions

Below is a list of films we will be digitizing in the coming months.

  • #184. [Mission San Juan Capistrano, Mexico, 1940s.] 8mm. Color.
  • #177. [“So. Cal., 1957.”] Coronado Island and crossing border into Tijuana, street vendors, etc.]. 8mm. Color.
  • #205. [“From San Diego to San Francisco, 1965.”] 8mm. Color. Includes footage of the now defunct Bible Land in Temecula and the old Universal Studios tour. The makers also handcrafted some great opening titles.
  • #207. [“US Festival,” + picnic, 1982 or ’83.] 8mm. Color. Silent. Help us figure out who the performer is at the US Festival.
  • #222. [“KLAC Ranch Party,” Sunday, October 29, 1978.] 8mm. Color. Silent (sadly.) Country music radio station KLAC hosted its first annual (and seemingly only) “KLAC Ranch Party” at Montie Montana’s Rodeo Ranch in Agua Dulce, California, on October 29, 1978. Footage includes Montie and Elly Montana and others trick riding and doing rope tricks, probably Rex Allen on stage and other musical acts performing, followed by a performer in traditional mariachi attire and a KLAC personality. Roy Rogers signing autographs, and the crowd and surroundings. Here’s a full page ad in the Los Angeles Times from that day.
  • #227. [“Coronado Island and on Ferry, San Diego, Calif. 1961.”] 8mm. Color. Pan of boats, shore from above, POV shot from inside car on ferry of San Diego and warships, then driving through desert landscape (possibly Anza-Borrego and/or into Mojave?)
  • #228. [“1955 Catalina.”] 8mm. Color. View from boat of Catalina, passing speedboats, the bird sanctuary on the island, the S. S. Catalina, a seaplane, bird sanctuary, folks on the beach, a marina full of boats, the Casino.
  • #230. [“Talmadge Tour of Southwest, Reel #1, July 1966.”] 8mm. Color. A great travelogue of the Talmadges (a middle-aged couple) through St. Louis (incl. the Dred Scott Memorial and the Gateway Arch), Albuquerque, a Native American pueblo and locals posing, the Petrified Forest, a Castle Film about the Grand Canyon spliced in, Hoover Dam, and finally great footage of Disneyland.
  • #233. [“Owl, Picnic, Tahoe 1946 — Death Valley.”] 8mm. Color. Older children and teenagers with great 1940s outfits playing baseball, views of Lake Tahoe, group posing on Fanny Bridge in Tahoe City, scenes around Furnace Creek Inn (now The Inn at Death Valley), including the mule-drawn wagon train used in 1885 to haul borax from Death Valley to the Mojave desert, and folks relaxing around its huge swimming pool, plus POV shots from a wooden speed boat.
  • #237. [“Balboa Park,” — 1950s.] 8mm. Color. San Diego. Shots of long-board surfing, kids and others fishing and horsing around on a pier, older well-dressed ladies checking out mid-century travel trailers, POV from car on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) through approximately Encinitas or Carlsbad, gradeschoolers square dancing in the yard, Balboa Park where groups of folks parade in national costumes from around the world, a special focus on the Japanese group.
  • #238. [“Mt. Laguna, CA. San Juan Capistrano,” 1960s.] Super 8mm. Color.
  • #241. [“(Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre, Actors, Actress Names, Footprints, June 1961 L.A. Trip.”] 8mm. Color. Facade of the theater (The King and I is on the marquee, the wall of signatures with a couple of close-up, CBS buildings, wide shot of Los Angeles from hills above Hollywood (?), the Moulin Rouge nightclub exterior, and the Griffith Observatory.
  • #247. [“1964 Drag Races at Ramona, 4th of July Parade 1964, Clairemont Drive (Clairemont, CA), Flagstaff Ariz., Walnut Canyon, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Calico Ghost Town.”] 8mm. Color. Several drag races at the San Diego Raceway at Ramona, after which is an Arizona road trip (R.H. Widmer family?), Hoover Dam, and back to the Calico Ghost Town.
  • #261. [“Vacation in California, Colorado, and Family, July 1952.”]
  • #272. [“Lancaster, CA, Parade and Family, 1956.”] 8mm. Color. Title card says “Our family grows…”, followed by three girls of different ages playing, then posing next to a camper trailer, then another title card, “We Try Our New Wagon…”, followed by a 1956 station wagon and road trip to Sequoia National Park, and then a long sequence of footage of a Shriners Parade in Lancaster, CA, held during the 1956 Fall Ceremonial.
  • #275. [“Mexico, April 1963.”] Amazing footage of a trip throughout Mexico from Mexico City to the countryside, including many basilicas, a gondola parade, donkeys drinking beer, etc.
  • #283. [Santa Anita Park grounds with crowd, spectators in seats, a bit of the race Seabiscuit (#4) famously won, March 2, 1940.]
The race
Proof of date and race #
  • #286. [Driving past Joshua trees, Newport Harbor and/or Laguna?, Double Exposure of Catalina Island sites over ruins and desert sites (Arizona?), 1960s.] 8mm. Color.
  • #307. A Mask for Me, A Mask for You (Gabriela Samper, Ray Witlin United States, 1967). Adventures in Art Series title. Mubi‘s synopsis: “A lonely little black boy in Watts finds his way to the Watts Towers Arts Center (South Los Angeles) and finds companionship and satisfaction in creating masks and other craft projects. This ethnographic documentary describes the thoughts of this boy who likes to hide behind the security of paper masks.”
  • #309. [1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.] Super 8mm. Color. Panning shot of the stadium and spectators from the stands. Track and field events (we look forward to watching this again to confirm if it includes Jackie Joyner-Kersee or Carl Lewis!)
  • #310. [Latino family at Disneyland, ca. 1970s.] Super 8mm. Color. Little boy punching wooden cigar shop “Indian,” POV of Native American village from river boat, and the same little boy trying to get Goofy’s attention. We have another film from this same family (#328) over on the “Our Region” page.
  • #314. [African American and Other Man Dancing in Living Room, 1970s.] Super 8mm. Color. Delightful film of two men dancing in the living room, plus a glimpse of a mosque — possibly in Istanbul? Reel indicates the film was shot in a house in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.
  • #330. [Disneyland Main Street and Character Parade, ca. 1970s.] Super 8mm. Color. Great footage of Disneyland’s Main Street, flower vendors, and close-up view of a parade with all the then Disney characters walking past, POV shots from aboard a boat, mariachis, toddler running around a back yard. Possibly this is the same family as #310 above.

Want to drive a little farther today? Check out our “A Longer Drive” page.