Class Field Trip to the Museum of the Moving Image

Moviola sound editing machine

This Tuesday, the students from my History of Film class from Fordham University, Lincoln Center visited the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. I haven’t been there since the museum underwent a major renovation about two years ago. I was concerned that many of the best parts of the museum were gone, but that concern was for naught. They were all there. Since I have an obsession with old electronics, especially those preserved and presented at museums, I had a blast shooting photos of all these objects.

The thaumatrope in action

The tour also complemented a great deal of material that we covered throughout the semester, especially in the beginning. We saw the usual pre-cinema toys and devices, such as the magic lantern, the thaumatrope, and the zoetrope. There were of course more contemporary objects that we cover in recent classes, such as a Vitaphone disk and projector, Technicolor camera.

Portable news camera (1)

I’d judge the class trip as a success. A couple of students seemed enthusiastic about seeing in person a lot of the objets that I’ve described in painstaking detail. One student in particular wrote an email to thank me for arranging the trip. And one student, who I judged to be a regular at the museum, was very enthusiastic about the screenings there.

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