Skip to Content
HomeAbout this siteHelpSearch this site The Library of Congress
America's Story from America's LibraryMeet Amazing AmericansJump Back in TimeExplore the StatesJoin America at PlaySee, Hear and Sing
See, Hear and Sing Disasters, Devastation and Destruction

A screen shot from 'Star Theatre' 1902.

A scene from the film capturing the destruction of the Star Theatre in 1902

RealVideo (streaming)
MPEG Format (17.0 MB)
Help With Video
Manmade Disasters
Have you ever seen a wrecking ball demolish a building or a structure blown up by dynamite? There is something strangely fascinating about watching the destruction of a building. In 1902, the Star Theatre building on 13th Street in New York City was demolished. The Star Theatre had been around since the Civil War. It opened in 1861 as Wallack's Theatre, and was renamed the Star in 1883. It had a rich history of excellent productions with some of the best actors of the time. It's estimated that this film, which shows the destruction of the building using time-lapse photography, was shot over a period of 30 days. Nowadays, how long does it take to tear down a building?
page 1 of 3 Next

Library Of Congress | Legal Notices | Privacy | Site Map | Contact Us

VIDEO CREDIT: "Star Theatre." American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1902. The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1897-1906, Library of Congress.