Any Old Movies?

The recent “06880” post about Westport’s way-cool 1934 aerial photos prompted one reader to write:

Amazing how rural the town was back then.  This reminded me that a long time ago, a local photographer told me he had old movies of Westport.  They included film shot from a car driving up and down the Post Road.  I can’t remember who he was (I think his studio was on South Compo, a block or two from the Post Road).

Have you ever heard of such movies?  Is there anything like that at the Westport Historical Society?  Perhaps you could ask your readers.  Someone must know about these.  Or have their own.

Someone must know.  And many Westporters must have movies, from the days when we actually filmed (rather than “videotaped”) our lives.

So the question becomes:  What next?  How can we (or who should) collect, organize and make available what must be a treasure trove of Westport film?

“06880” readers are a passionate, creative and (in a good way) obsessive bunch.  Click “Comments” if you’ve got a good idea about this project.

The Fine Arts Theatre is gone -- but it must live on in some old movies taken around town.

14 responses to “Any Old Movies?

  1. This is an excellent idea! I interned at the Historical Society during the spring of 2010, and a large portion of my work involved digitalizing tapes of interviews with long-time residents. Perhaps audio can be incorporated into the videos? A resident could be speaking about her childhood while moving film footage of Westport during the time of her childhood plays, creating a rather animated portrait of Westport as it was.

  2. Well, in the world of entertainment, “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” contains some rear-projected driving footage of South Compo Road. And of course there’s “The Stepford Wives.”

  3. The Dude Abides

    I have some old footage of Marilyn Chambers. Will that help?

    • Candidly, did you film her yourself???

      • The Dude Abides

        In all candor, no.

        • The Dude Abides

          P.S. I did see her bend over in Grand Union once. I did not have my camera with me though. I do have a photographic memory when it comes to those things, however.

          • Most of “Together,” which also stars a bunch of other people I went to school with in Westport, was filmed at an estate on Stony Point. Mariyln is, umm, memorable in it.

          • You made laugh Dude. I love your unpredictability and no shame attitude.
            And no matter how many times some people ask you to change (to put it politely)…please don’t!!
            Not that the Dude would ever do that or even consider it.

          • The Dude Abides

            The Dude Abides, John. I find some comfort in that you are around too. How about some sarsaparilla with Jeffxs some day? He can bring along his ferret.

          • Sounds good. You know how to reach me.

  4. The only photographer in that neighborhood might have been David Wells who had his studio at 19 South Compo road.

  5. Dan,

    At the urging of my cousin Walter Egan, I began three years ago digitizing my father’s home movies and authoring wonderful DVDs of these genuine family treasures. I use a company in Brooklyn to create QuickTime movies of the films and save them to a hard drive I deliver with the films. The earliest movies show my parents in 1939 at family get-togethers before they were even married.

    I think this is a great idea. There must be 8 mm movies in Westport basements and attics that are in tact and contain footage with the images of the early Westport in the background. In spite of David Pogue’s pronouncements about the problem of data rot and formats becoming obsolete, my dad’s seventy year old 8 mm movies are in remarkably good shape and the DVD images I made from these old films look as good today and they did when projected onto a screen when I was little boy.

    I think this is a terrific project for the Historical Society. I am not a Westport resident rather a Town employee. I would be willing to lend at least some advice on how this could be done.

    Good job Dan!

    Jim Honeycutt
    Staples High School

  6. maxine bleiweis

    Dan–the Westport Public Library is a good place to collect and disseminate anything new that surfaces. We already have all the films that have been made about and around Westport. People should contact Beth Dominianni at if they have any new films to add to our collection.
    Maxine Bleiweis
    Library Director

  7. I have Super-8 movies of Staples Players productions in the 1960s, burned onto DVDs. I’ll give copies to the Library and the Historical Society (as we do with Oral History.) Now we need to add home movies, something that Gordon Joseloff suggested during our Millennium celebration, now that the transfer is so easy.