Joseph P. Eckhardt

Professor of History


Visit my new Betzwood Film Archive and Festival website!

I am happy to announce I have worked with colleagues at the libraries and archives of Montgomery County Community College to create a new website chronicling the history of the silent-film era Betzwood Film Studios and its founder Siegmund Lubin.

Before there was Hollywood...
there was Betzwood!

After thirty-nine years at MCCC, I have retired from full time teaching. However, I remain closely involved with the Betzwood Film Archive and Film Festival. I intend to publish my further research on the Lubin Film Company and the Betzwood Studio here on the college website. As always, your questions and comments are welcome! I will still be receiving email through this site.

 Since 1979 I have been researching the history of the early silent movie industry in the Philadelphia area. The primary focus of this work has been the life and work of early film pioneer, SIEGMUND LUBIN, a Philadelphia optician who became one of the first movie moguls. My biography of Lubin, THE KING OF THE MOVIES, was published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press in 1997.

UPDATE: Plans are underway to produce a television documentary based on The King of the Movies. Click here for more information and a six minute preview trailer.

The BETZWOOD FILM ARCHIVE and FILM FESTIVAL at Montgomery County Community College.

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