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Tales from the Klondike

The actual Klondike, not my living room today (though it sure am cold in here).

Dawson City grew up around the Klondike Gold Rush. It went from a remote Indian camp to a city of 40,000 back down to a town of 8,000 when the gold rush ended in 1899. It’s hovered around 1,000 ever since.

But it had a movie theater. And because it was so remote, it was the end of the line for the movie circuit. That is, after the movies were shown, they were thrown away.

In 1978, a construction company accidentally stumbled over them, buried under a hockey rink. They dated from 1903 to 1929. In all, there were 533 reels of film, some from silents that were thought to have been lost forever. Many were damaged, but I imagine the cold helped preserve them. We know how nitrate film likes to burst into flames.

Wikipedia on the Dawson Film Find.

Dawson City: Frozen Time is a 2016 documentary put together from the reels, though I gather “documentary” is not a very good description. It’s something altogether more dreamy and strange.

You can watch the official trailer on YouTube.

What? No. I haven’t seen it yet. I’m waiting to find a used copy. I use this blog as a notepad, you know.

p.s. Bonus. The totally unrelated short film Battle at Big Rock is totally worth ten minutes of your life. Stick around for the credits.


Comment from durnedyankee
Time: February 9, 2021, 9:33 pm


Here I thought that was a picture taken on Harry Hines Blvd at 4:00 AM.

Comment from blake
Time: February 10, 2021, 12:52 am

I remember this! (At various points in my life.)

I’ll put in my pitch for “Saving Brinton” for those what are interested in the old flicker shows.


Comment from durnedyankee
Time: February 10, 2021, 11:26 am

It’s below ZERO here in North Texas. If you’re a Euro.
And it’s “a little chilly” if you’re a Yankee using the original definition (Jan Kaas to you too!)
But it’s probably not cold enough to “freeze the balls off a brass monkey” (check that one out).

It’s 29 degrees Fahrenheit.

@Blake – Brinton sounds a little like Elon Musk considering his ‘flying machine’ plan. Thanks for the link!

Comment from LesterIII
Time: February 10, 2021, 8:31 pm

A comment on the Battle at Big Rock YouTube post almost killed me: “This is one of the most elaborate condom commercials I have ever seen.”

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: February 11, 2021, 12:50 am

Dawson is a real “bucket list” destination. Be sure and try a “sour toe” cocktail.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: February 11, 2021, 1:01 am



Comment from Mitch
Time: February 11, 2021, 4:38 am

Bob – Stoaty featured the Sour Toe cocktail on this very site some years ago! 😀 If memory serves somebody stole the toe!

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: February 11, 2021, 8:16 pm

Well, there I go being dotty again.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: February 13, 2021, 3:03 am

re “Battle at Big Rock”: If I had a zillion $ to spare, I’d make Jurassic Park VII. It would be a fluffy family comedy with no excitement – because the new management of JP, unlike its predecessors, didn’t make any predators.

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