A Drive Up Fifth Avenue, ca. 1937

You know how, when you’re watching an old movie and there’s a scene in the interior of a car, and through the rear window, you can see rear-projected footage of the city streets the car is supposedly traveling on? If the movie you’re watching is set in NYC, there’s a chance that this is the footage you’re seeing.

This trip back in time begins at 60th Street and Fifth, just a block up from the Plaza Hotel, and continues north for 3.5 minutes or so, and then other angles are shot for the remaining time.

A Journey Back to Old New York

A couple of years back, The Museum of Modern Art performed a digital restoration on some travelogue footage of New York City that was shot in 1911. They did a great job with it, and the video was widely disseminated—you may have seen it at the time or in the months since.

Now, a Swedish company called Svenska Biografteatern has done even more work on the footage, giving it a higher frame rate and resolution (4K) and a subtle color tinting.

For anyone who loves New York (or dreams of time travel), it makes for a magical eight-minute journey into the past.