And you thought YouTube was only good for videos of silly cats or funny babies… Gerlock11’s treasure trove of vintage video footage gives a glimpse into the past with mid-century-era home movies of trips to Griffith Park & Observatory, Malibu Pier (with sea lions!), Santa Monica Pier (more on this one later!), Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland, among other tourist hot spots. The clips, which are credited as part of the Elmer Gerlock Film Project, range from the early 1950s to the late 1980s and contain footage of sights across the U.S., including Florida, Nevada and Ohio, where the cameraman is presumably from — the uploader, Shawn, lists his hometown as Maple Heights, OH, and we can only assume he’s a relative of the original cameraman.
At times, the camera is unsteady as it pans from one point of interest to another. And while this might be the vintage equivalent of a shoddy, out-of-focus cell phone video clip, there’s a charm to the old film’s dust & scratches and amateur quality that makes it seem like we’re seeing the 1950s through our own eyes.
Disneyland’s Fantasyland, 1957:
Will Rogers State Park, 1954
Universal Studios, 1977: