Now this was community engagement.
It’s billed as the first sound movie created in Charleston, WV. The film, “Charleston Beautiful,” was produced in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, and presented by the Kearse Theatre and The Charleston Daily Mail. For some reason the name of the newspaper appears in quotes.
The film was posted on YouTube by Jerry Waters and is getting new attention thanks to an appearance on the Revivalist blog.
It depicts Charleston as it was in August, 1932 — different in so many ways, yet also very much the same.
The film came to my recent attention thanks to Charleston lawyer and forward-thinker Bob Coffield. He had some ideas about how we might produce something similar as a snapshot of where Charleston is right now:
As I have thought about the 1932 film over the past week I have an idea for a project for FestivALL Charleston. I would like to bring together a team to re-film the 1932 film using the same shots, stories, and people (if we could find the babies). Would love to see a 2013 version of the Baby Walk. Maybe the Charleston Daily Mail would again be the “presented by . . .” The films could then be shown together at FestivALL.