This edition of the PDD Video Lab features a panoply of Duluth film footage from the summer of 1967. The segments were made by taking scenes from an 18-minute silent film titled “Visit to Duluth,” breaking them up and adding music.
The first segment features scenes from Chester Bowl Park and Skyline Drive, with views of Peace Church, the Aerial Lift Bridge, Minnesota Point, Enger Tower and so on, set to Marvin Gaye’s mid-1960s hit song “Wonderful One.”
In June 1967 the High Bridge (now known as the Blatnik Bridge) was just six years old and the Duluth Arena-Auditorium (now part of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center) was not quite a year old. Both are shown prominently in this segment, along with scenes of Rice’s Point, Canal Park, West Superior Street and Highway 61. The music for this segment is just pair of waltzes slapped in after our first choice of music was rejected due to copyright restriction.
Segment three needed a little slow motion in order to get clean views of the Fitger’s Brewery and East Superior Street businesses, including the Hotel Duluth, NorShor Theatre and Granada Theater. The music here is Astrud Gilberto’s “O Ganso,” another tune from the mid 1960s.
The footage of West Duluth in segment four includes a trip down the “horseshoe bend” from Skyline Drive down to 40th Avenue West. It concludes with a very brief glimpse of the intersection at Central and Grand avenues, slowed down for easier viewing. The music is “Everything’s Starting to Happen” by Greater California from the 2002 album The Little Pacific.
The final clip features Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Central High School and the Duluth International Airport. The accompanying track is “Listen to the Hummingbird” from Leonard Cohen’s final studio album Thanks for the Dance.
And finally, here is the source material — the full silent film, including family footage chopped out of the segments above. The clip is from Henrietta Warner’s YouTube account and is attributed as 8mm footage shot by her father. It gives the year 1966 in the title, but since the opening slate of the film shows June 1967 we presume 1967 is the correct timeframe.
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