Submitted by kaustin on Mon, 09/25/2023 - 09:17
Scenic Route


In 2018, the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Texas Film Round-Up, a pioneering community archives program presented in collaboration with the Texas Film Commission. The first of its kind in the nation, the Film Round-Up travels across the state to provide free digitization for Texas-related films and videotapes to help preserve the state’s media heritage. TAMI has hosted more than 30 Round-Ups since its inaugural event in Austin, traveling 16,000+ miles and amassing 40+TB of digital video. TAMI is proud to partner with the Texas Film Commission on this program—the only film commission in the United States to support media preservation alongside production.

SCENIC ROUTE: DISCOVERIES IN TEXAS FILM & VIDEO offers a guided tour of highlights from the program, hailing from Beaumont to El Paso, Brownsville to Amarillo, and countless places in between. This curated selection of moving images reveals the scope of TAMI’s online collection, emphasizing some of our most treasured finds while uncovering remaining omissions. Historical media presents its own form of time travel, supplying a glimpse of real people—the way they lived, who they loved, and what they valued. Featuring moving images documenting Texas and Texans as early as the turn of the twentieth century, SCENIC ROUTE illustrates the sheer diversity of experience made possible in the Lone Star State.

Take the SCENIC ROUTE, and tour film and video discoveries from across the Lone Star State.

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Additional Ways to Browse

Genre - TAMI’s ever-growing online collection includes home movies, amateur films, advertisements, local television, industrial and corporate productions, and more. Discover film and video highlights based on their genre, or production type.

Region - Watch film and video highlights documenting distinct geographic regions of Texas and beyond.

Time Period - Texas’ place in film history began with the very dawn of American cinema. Some of the earliest films still in existence were shot in Galveston at the turn of the twentieth century. Browse film and video highlights capturing the Lone Star State through the decades. 

Topic - Film heritage extends beyond formats, genres, locales, and time periods. Perhaps most importantly, it also includes the historical and cultural importance of the people and events these moving images capture. This selection of film and video highlights illustrates the breadth of TAMI’s online collection. It also uncovers directions for future growth, from its small sample of films by military servicemembers to the near absence of Asian-American representation.







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10. Brownsville from 1846... (1996) - This 1996 educational film relates the history of Brownsville since 1846, when Mexican forces besieged Fort Texas (later to become Fort Brown), prompting the Battle of Palo Alto and the Mexican-American War. Beyond Charles Stillman's establishment of the City of Brownsville and the Stillman House, the film also touches on the city's importance to the Confederacy during the Civil War.

9. UT Tower Shooting (1966) - On the morning of August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman ascended to the observation deck of the University of Texas at Austin Main Building and began shooting indiscriminately at persons below, killing 14 and injuring 31. Neal Spelce—a young reporter for Austin's KTBC-TV—was on the scene, helping to produce the footage seen in this local news broadcast as well as national coverage of the tragedy.

8. Old Texas (1916) - This 1916 nitrate film, produced by Colonel Charles Goodnight, illustrates the legendary cattleman's relationship with the Kiowa tribe who inhabited the area in and around Palo Duro Canyon and the JA Ranch. Beyond scenes of daily life in the Kiowa camp and tribal rituals and customs, the film also includes footage of the last buffalo hunt on the ranch Goodnight invited the Kiowa people to attend.

7. Six Flags Over Texas (1965) - In this 1965 promotional film for Six Flags Over Texas, a narrator highlights the top attractions at the Arlington amusement park. The park opened only four years prior. The film features attractions from all over the park, many of which are no longer in operation.

6. New Terminal Opens at Robert Mueller Municipal Airport (1961) - In this 1961 television report for Austin’s KTBC-TV, broadcaster and humorist Cactus Pryor joins Colonel Vance Murphy for a tour of a newly opened terminal building at the now-closed Robert Mueller Municipal Airport. Pryor explores Austin’s new gateway from entrance to exit, examining the terminal’s ticket counters, lobby, gates, dining area, and baggage concourse.

5. Progress Report Austin: The Legends of Austin 2 (1962) - This installment of Progress Report Austin, a local television series produced by Austin's KTBC-TV, chronicles the history of the Texas capital through stories about some of its iconic landmarks and people. Paying particular attention to Austin's most popular thoroughfares, the film underscores the rapid industrialization and urban development experienced during the twentieth century.

4. Our Town Austin (1955) - Though missing its opening scenes, this 1955 promotional film highlights the many features that make the Texas capital such a pleasant, convenient, and prosperous place to live. In addition to providing detailed introductions to local companies, the film also presents the city's many nearby opportunities for recreation and cultural experiences.

3. 1978 Holiday Race for Space - Produced by the Dallas-based Bill Stokes Associates, this 1978 marketing film highlights the impact of new ideas for Taylor Wines as they compete in the “Holiday Race for Space”—a somewhat inexplicable promotional scheme explained with the help of “Metal Man” and “Shorty,” an obvious homage to Star Wars characters C-3PO and R2D2.

2. Making of Oliver Stone's JFK: How the Film Affected Dallas (1991) - In this unedited interview footage taped for Entertainment Tonight, Dallas-based director Jim Ruddy explores the controversy surrounding the production of Oliver Stone’s JFK in Dallas in 1991. Residents observing the shoot discuss the possible impact of the film on the Dallas community, generally agreeing that the film will not open old wounds and instead bring revenue to the city.

1. Fort Worth: The Unexpected City (1974) - Narrated by actor Jimmy Stewart, this 1970s promotional film highlights the quality of life found in Fort Worth, from its thriving arts district to its friendly Western heritage to its booming economic opportunity. Beyond showcasing the city’s major attractions, the film also features prominent local figures, such as Steve Murrin, Alann Sampson, Bob Ray Sanders, and Charles Tandy.


Scenic Route was originally curated and produced by Katharine Austin for the Texas Archive of the Moving Image as a part of the Texas Film Commission's Texas Moving Image Archive Program.

Edited and reproduced in 2023 by Katharine Austin.

It features archival materials contributed to the award-winning Texas Film Round-Up program by the following individuals and organizations: Rosa Guerrero, Donald L. Hockaday, Joe Jeoffroy, Becky Lawry, Milo Marks, Fred Miller, Jeff Pitner, Don Stokes, Bahram Yousefi, Angelo State University Porter Henderson Library, Bell County Museum, City of Wichita Falls Public Information Office, East Texas Research Center, Elgin Public Library, Eula & David Wintermann Library, Fort David National Historical Site, Fort Worth Library, Galveston and Texas History Center Rosenberg Library, Historic Brownsville Museum, LeTourneau University R.G. LeTourneau Museum, Museum of the Gulf Coast, Sugar Land Heritage Foundation, Texas Forestry Museum, Texas Surf Museum, Tyler Public Library, and University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

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