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Studio site photograph, Astoria Studio, c. 1930 (Collection of Museum of the Moving Image. Gift of Dorothy Kandel)


Lights, Camera, Astoria!

Oct 26, 2013 — Mar 29, 2015

Location: Amphitheater Gallery

This exhibition traces the fascinating history of the Astoria studio, which has been at the heart of filmmaking in New York City since 1920. The site was the East Coast home of Paramount Pictures in the silent and early talking-picture eras, a center for independent filmmaking in the 1930s, and the U.S. Army Pictorial Center from World War II into the Cold War. After falling into disrepair in the early 1970s, the site has become a thriving cultural hub that includes Kaufman Astoria Studios and Museum of the Moving Image.

Using film stills, behind-the-scenes photographs, oral histories, and posters, the exhibition explores the rich legacy and renaissance of the studio complex. With material from silent-era films featuring Rudolph Valentino, early talking films starring the Marx Brothers, World War II training and propaganda films, such modern classics as The Age of Innocence, and television shows like Sesame Street, The Cosby Show, and Nurse Jackie, the exhibition reveals the significant role that the Astoria studio continues to play in energizing its surrounding community and making moving-image history.

This exhibition was organized by Barbara Miller, Curator of the Collection and Exhibitions, with Richard Koszarski, Professor of English and Cinema Studies, Rutgers University, as consulting historian.

Lights, Camera, Astoria! is presented with generous support from Kaufman Astoria Studios.