Conventional screen histories tend to concentrate on New York City and Hollywood in chronicling the evolution of American cinema. Notwithstanding the tremendous contribution of both cities, Syracuse and Central New York also played a strategic - yet little-known - role in early screen history.In 1889 in Rochester, New York, George Eastman registered a patent for perforated celluloid film, a development that would telescope the international race to record motion by means of photography to the immediate future. In addition, the first public film projection occurred in Syracuse, New York, in 1896. Norman O. Keim and David Marc provide a highly readable and richly detailed account of the origins of American film in Central New York, the colorful history of neighborhood theaters in Syracuse, and the famous film personalities who got their start in the unlikely snow belt of New York State. Lavishly illustrated, this book will be treasured by both film buffs and Central New Yorkers.
Norman O. Keim was founder and director of the Syracuse University Film Studies Center and adjunct professor of film studies from 1973 to 1985. He created Film Forum, a weekly presentation of art films in the university's Gifford Auditorium and the Regent Theatre from 1967 to 1980. David Marc is communications manager in the publications department at Syracuse University. He is the author of Bonfire of the Humanities: Television, Subliteracy, and Long-Term Memory Loss and the coauthor of Prime Time, Prime Movers, both published by Syracuse University Press.