At 7pm on Thursday, March 30, the State University of New York at Albany Graduate Student Association, with support from CDPA, will host a screening of the film Lost Rondout: A Story of Urban Removal, a documentary film about an area within the City of Kingston, NY. The event will take place at the Madison Theater in Albany. Advance discounted tickets to the event for current SUNYA students and CDPA/APA members are available through Eventbrite. Ticket sales online end on Wednesday, then tickets are only available through the Madison Theater box office.
Three years in the making, Lost Rondout was produced and directed by Stephen Blauweiss, a filmmaker specializing in artists’ documentaries, and Lynn Woods, a reporter and author, both of whom are based in Kingston. The Documentary, narrated by Blauweiss and Woods, chronicles how a federally funded 1960s urban renewal project devastated the waterfront district of Kingston, New York, a microcosm of the urban disruption that occurred all over America.
At this screening the filmmakers will be on hand to share the experience of making the film. City of Albany Planning Director Chris Spencer will serve as moderator for the event. Doors will open at 6:30, the film will start at 7:00 followed by a 30-minute Q&A.
Utilizing dozens of period slides taken by local photographer Gene Dauner, Lost Rondout vividly depicts the vanished streetscape of historic 19th-century buildings, then defined as “blight.” Interviews with former residents describe a once-vibrant integrated community. Nearly 500 buildings were destroyed and thousands of people were displaced, many of them African Americans who had difficulty finding new housing.
In addition to Dauner’s slides, archival footage and family photographs bring the abandoned neighborhood back to life. Commentary by historians, urban planners, and city officials reveal the federal policies that encouraged suburbanization and worked against people of color in urban areas, placing the story in a national context.
DVDs of the film will be for sale at the event.
Photo credits: Gene Dauner