Last Updated: 2/20/19


The Philadelphia: The Changing City screening

at the Parkway Central Library

has been postponed due to weather.

It has been rescheduled for Monday, March 25.

All-new Jazz & Swing Rarities II

at Fleisher Art Memorial

Friday, March 8, 2019
8:00 pm
Admission: $9.00

Fleisher Art Memorial
719 Catharine Street, Philadelphia
215-922-3456 ext. 300

On Friday, March 8, The Secret Cinema will present Jazz & Swing Rarities II, a program of short films from Hollywood's golden age showcasing musicians such as Artie Shaw, Buddy Rich, Nat "King" Cole, Gene Krupa, Anita O'Day, Noble Sissle, Jimmy Dorsey, Helen O'Connell, and many others. This program will include 100% different material than our last Jazz & Swing Rarities screening…and that happened ten years ago. So if swing is your thing, you'd better not miss this!

Jazz, America's own music, came of age roughly at the same time as the motion picture, and they have shared a long and fruitful history together. Many of the first experiments in synchronizing sound with movies were used to capture performances of early jazz musicians, and the first talking feature film starred Al Jolson as The Jazz Singer.

Jazz & Swing Rarities II will include a variety of vintage short subject genres: straight performance films, musical shorts with dramatic and comedic plots, a cartoon, and "Soundies" films produced for use in the Mills Panoram film jukebox of the early 1940s. The Secret Cinema has presented other programs in the past that have included these types of films, but most of the films to be included in Jazz & Swing Rarities II will be making their Secret Cinema debut.

The screening will be shown in the beautiful Sanctuary of the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia's Bella Vista neighborhood (just South of Center City). Free parking is available in the Fleisher's parking lot, just across the street.

There will be one complete screening at 8:00 pm. Admission is $9.00.

Philadelphia: The Changing City

at Parkway Central Library

Monday, March 25, 2019
6:00 pm
Admission: FREE*

Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia
(between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)

On Monday, March 25, the Secret Cinema will present a special film screening at the Parkway Central Library, in celebration of their current exhibition "Philadelphia: The Changing City." (This date replaces the original date of Wednesday, February 20, which was cancelled because of snow).

The program will include films about city planning, urban renewal, discriminatory lending practices and other issues that shaped the Philadelphia of today.

Some films were shown in past Philly-centric Secret Cinema programs, many years ago, while others will be shown for the first time.

There will be one complete program starting at 6:00 pm in the Montgomery Auditorium.

*Admission is FREE, but advance registration is requested.

Highlights of Philadelphia: The Changing City (the film program) include:

Our Changing City (1955) - Made by the city during the administration of Mayor Joseph Clark, this vivid color film makes the case for urban renewal (i.e., demolition and new construction) while showing a wide range of cityscapes -- from new homes in the Northeast to the poverty of people living in houses without plumbing or electricity.

Not in My Block (1964, Dir: Robert Disraeli) - An exploration of housing segregation in Philadelphia, with views of residents, real estate brokers and appraisers, bankers and builders. Narrated by famed ABC-TV reporter (and later anchorman) Howard K. Smith, the film was co-produced by the City of Philadelphia's Commission on Human Relations and the American Jewish Committee Institute of Human Relations.

Lewis Mumford on the City: The City and the Future (1963, Ian MacNeill) - This film, (which does not focus on Philadelphia), was the final chapter of a series hosted by the eminent American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic Lewis Mumford. In this episode, Mumford considers the "loss of vitality" that he perceives in contemporary cities that have become crowded and resulted in suburban flight. The National Film Board of Canada spent five years producing this ambitious series, filming in eleven countries.

…and more.



  • Saturday, March 2, 2019 @ The International Bar: Made in Spain with D.J. Silvia & Jay Schwartz
  • Sunday, March 10, 2019 @ The International Bar: Salut les Copains with D.J. Silvia & Jay Schwartz
  • Thursday, March 14, 2019 @ Towson University, Maryland: Technology film program TBA
  • Tuesday, April 2, 2019 @ Woodmere Museum: Chestnut Hill Film Group screening B-Picture Double Feature featuring Youth Runs Wild and Madame Spy

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    Channel 29 news piece on Secret Cinema from 1999!

    Joey Ramone, R.I.P.

    Secret Cinema 1999 Annual Report

    Secret Cinema 1998 Annual Report

    Secret Cinema 1997 Annual Report

    Information about the 1998 Secret Cinema "Class Trip" to the Syracuse Cinefest

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