Grab your popcorn because the Bay Shore Historical Society is giving you a lens to look through the rich film history of Bay Shore.
Bill Shelley, a film archivist, is hosting a free “The History of Movies in Bay Shore,” at the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Library on Thursday, Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
The presentation is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Shelley will talk in-depth about the world renown film studios that used Bay Shore and its surrounding areas to create popular movies from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
“[Shelley] is a historian of old movies,” explained Barry Dlouhy, the Historical Society’s president. “He does quite a few presentations all over.”
“I’ve been collecting original film materials from the 1890’s for about 50 years,” said Shelley, who lives in Freeport.
Items from his collection will be up for viewing. Those include original movie posters and crank cameras and projectors from the late 19th century.
A big portion of the presentation will center around the history of Vitagraph Studios, from its inception to its studios in Bay Shore.
Vitagraph Studios was once one of the largest creators of motion pictures in the U.S.
Their first studios were in New York City and Brooklyn, and they later added one at 94 Fourth Avenue in Bay Shore, a parcel that is now occupied by apartments.
“We are going to be showing the first Vitagraph movies made,” said Shelley. “They were filmed in Bay Shore and we’re going to show you certain locations.”
Shelley declined to divulge which films he had in store for the crowd; he wants to keep it a surprise.
“Some are very prominent stories that many will recognize,” he said.
Photos: A 1915 postcard of the Regent Theatre in Bay Shore. Credit: Bay Shore Historical Society courtesy image. Click this link for more information: 94 Fourth Ave.(3)