This tourist-shot 8mm film shows what New York City looked like in 1976

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The music is everything.


The movie “Taxi Driver” is the first thing that comes to mind of NYC during the mid-70’s.


In the first 30 seconds, all I could hear was Sterling Archer’s voice saying “Are we still doing framing?

Neat! I have all of my parent’s old Super 8 movies (maybe 4-5 hours in all) transferred to DVD. It includes lots of footage of Germany and Berlin from the early 1970s. Maybe I’ll edit it like this clip…


Ah the good old days, when scaffolding meant a building was under construction.


Come for the muggings. The junkies, the whores.

It was a pit. A dangerous pit. Sure the heroin was authentic, and the stabbings where real. But I’d take Disney time square any day. And you can still get the Heroin and legal pot.

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The soundtrack is a bit weird, though. It’s the sort of thing that you’d think would go with a film of 1950’s NYC, not 1970s.

“American Patrol” by Glenn Miller.
Just to note for the young-uns, the vast majority of 8mm and super 8mm film cameras had no means of recording sound. So home movies of that era were silent.


Imagining an alternate history where this was the soundtrack to Taxi Driver and Travis Bickle’s voiceover narration is in upspeak.


In October, I moved to Brooklyn after 30 good years in Los Angeles. I loved it here immediately. The town has evolved so much from the stank, dangerous jungle I knew from numerous visits while growing up in Connecticut in the 70s and 80s.

Then the virus hit. And now I love it even more, the way the majority of New Yorkers seemed to hunker down and do the right thing.

And now spring is here and luscious, and I want only for this city to open up again safely in its own good time.


As can be heard (and as noted in the YT description), the music (muzak, all) doesn’t fit what was popularly aired in 1976. True. But the video did offer exactly the kind of music (from late 50s to mid 60s) that audiences would have heard between showings in many movie theaters even in the 70s. I used to call it, “time to buy popcorn” music.


Just skimmed through, w/o sound. That stuff in the window around 6 minutes: I guess that would not happen any more today, right?

Generally: looks like every movie from the 70s did really look like real NY.
Not a place a I would have liked to live, actually. (Neither I do today. :man_shrugging: )

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