Who says no one likes re-runs?
"Astoria on Film II," a collection of old newsreels and films showcasing the city, played to packed houses at the Columbia Theater for its first two showings. The series will have two matinee showings at 3 p.m. Sept. 18 and 25.
Produced by the Lower Columbia Preservation Society, the series includes footage of President John Kennedy's visit to Tongue Point, a feature on salmon horse-seining, construction of the Astoria Bridge and the implosion of the town's flour mill.
It follows on the heels of the popular first series, shown in 2002, that included "A Day in the Life of Astoria: 1954," a 1960 episode of the "Route 66" television series filmed entirely in Astoria, and a home movie of a 1950 hill slide on Irving Avenue.
Society member John Goodenberger, who compiled the films and provides narraration along with Clatsop County Historical Society curator Liisa Penner, said it's been fun to hear the "low rumble of conversation" that fills the theater as people's memories are re-awakened as they watch the mostly silent films.
"They're not being rude - they're rememebering what it was like to be out horse-seining or having a relative who horse-seined, or remember watching the Astoria Bridge being built," he said, adding that many audience members are surprised to see relatives in the films.
While the audiences are mostly older, a number of younger people have also attended, some probably drawn by "The Goonies Vacation," the amateur video produced by two devoted fans of the 1984 movie filmed in Astoria.
The flour mill piece was created especially for the series by 21-year-old Astoria native Chuck Adams. It features a collage of images that mixes footage from TV news broadcasts, interviews and photographs with film of the actual explosion set to the "1812 Overture."
Tickets are $3. There will be no advance ticket sales for the upcoming showings, and Goodenberger recommended that people show up a half-hour before showtime to ensure themselves a seat.