#TACOMAFM – The Tacoma Historical Society in conjunction with the City of Tacoma, historian Michael Sullivan, and other local partners are teaming up to bring the silent film Eyes of the Totem back to the city.
Eyes of the Totem tells the heartwarming story of a young mother who finds herself in the most dire of circumstances and ultimately triumphs against all odds, under the ever-watchful eyes of Tacoma’s Totem pole.
Premiering in 1927, Eyes of the Totem features historic sites in and around the Tacoma area, providing a motion picture record of the city. The film was created by H.C. Weaver Productions, a motion picture company that was located near Titlow Beach in the late 1920s. This film was thought to be permanently lost for decades, until it was recovered in 2014, by Lauren Hoogkamer City of Tacoma historic preservation coordinator. A complete copy was discovered by Hoogkamer in the archives of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
“This was an amazing find,” said Hoogkamer, “but what’s more amazing is the team that came together to work on the restoration. Just as the original film made use of local talent, and the resources of Tacoma’s downtown, so does the restoration and re-release.”
The restoration team plans to restore and re-release Eyes of the Totem at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, September 18, 2015. Local composer John Christopher Bayman is composing an original musical score for the film. Programming and background materials are also being created to highlight the film’s historic context.
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