2008-02-22 / Community

Rockaway Bungalow Documentary at Fort Tilden March 15

By Rachel Vasilets

"The Bungalow's of Rockaway," a documentary film based on the historic summer homes of the peninsula, will be screened once again with an additional five minutes of footage before its final completion in the summer.

The film, directed by Jennifer Callahan and co-produced by Elizabeth Harris will be shown at the Post Theater in Fort Tilden on Saturday March 15 at 3 p.m.

Harris said the additional footage is a chapter called "Way of Life" which discusses the lifestyle surrounding the bungalow community and its residents.

"The Bungalows of Rockaway" was screened last November at the Museum of the City of New York. The event drew a crowd of more than 300 people.

The film runs through the history of Rockaway's bungalows from the early 1900's when thousands of them served as summer homes for people looking to escape the city to the present day where few remain. The film also explores the significance of the bungalows and what they meant to their residents through archival shots and interviews with historians and residents.

"We're looking at a way where social history and architectural history intersect," Callahan said. Callahan's inspiration for the film stemmed from a visit to the Rockaways in July 2003. She said she didn't know bungalows existed in New York City.

"I was surprised they were within city limits," she said.

Callahan felt the bungalows would make a good topic for a documentary and since 2003 she and Harris have been working on the film.

"It means the opportunity to show people a fascinating part of New York's history," Callahan said. "I think it is a part of the history that has been forgotten by the city at large."

"It's been a tremendous experience getting to know this pocket of New York which was unfamiliar to me," Harris said.

Callahan said she plans to add more material to the documentary and then screen the entire work in Rockaway when it is done.

The event is free and open to the public. Free parking will be available. Reservations are required. To reserve a spot call the Rockaway Theatre Company at 718-850-2450. The screening is co-sponsored by the Rockaway Theatre Company and the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways.

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