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Author Topic: Blackhawk films history
Jim Schrader
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1573
From: Savage, MN, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted August 13, 2003 01:23 PM      Profile for Jim Schrader   Author's Homepage   Email Jim Schrader   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I found a small story on the history of this company for those of you with interest:

The Blackhawk Films library is primarily the accomplishment of Kent D. Eastin, who started business in 1927 making film ads for merchants, filming local news events for theater newsreels, and selling outdated, independent 35mm theatrical film prints for toy projectors of the day. All of this from the basement of his parents' home in Galesburg, Illinois. With the advent of 16mm sound film in 1934, Eastin moved his company to Davenport, Iowa and began a rental library that flourished until it was discontinued under the impact of television in 1957. Eastin selected Davenport as an efficient junction for rail shipping and because it was something of a "film town", as home to the Victor Animatograph Corporation, a pioneer motion picture equipment manufacturer. The Blackhawk name was first used for an auxiliary business, liquidating stocks of used 16mm prints from British Information Services, Mills Panoram Soundies and other libraries and producers. Blackhawk began publishing monthly catalogs in 1949. More than 2,500,000 used films were sold by mail order before this business was discontinued in 1981. In 1952, Blackhawk introduced its own releases in both 8mm and 16mm. Included in this "Collector Series" were Laurel and Hardy silents from Hal Roach Studios, authorized editions of Keystone comedies licensed by Sennett's original backer, Roy Aitken and a grouping of railroad films (Kent Eastin was an avid train enthusiast. He had a basement wall of bound timetables). In time, Blackhawk grew to dominate the "home movie" field with a base of 125,000 customers. Fox Movietone News, Killiam Shows and National Telefilm Associates (now Republic Pictures) joined Hal Roach as important suppliers for film releases and television production was added. In 1975, Kent Eastin and Martin Phelan sold Blackhawk to Lee Enterprises, Inc.

jim schrader
"Let's see “do I have that title already?"

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Tim Christian
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 219
From: Norfolk, UK
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted August 13, 2003 01:28 PM      Profile for Tim Christian   Author's Homepage   Email Tim Christian   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This site is also worth a look:



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Douglas Meltzer

Posts: 4491
From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted August 13, 2003 07:05 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Second time in a row that I have to thank you for one of your links. I had no idea that Filmclassic.com was back in business.

I think there's room for just one more film.....

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