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Silent Movie Filmed In Quincy 100 Years Ago Found In Attic

QUINCY (CBS) - They're going back in time for a hundred year look back at Quincy, in all its black and white glory. It's all courtesy of a rediscovered silent movie, found in a former resident's attic. And on Wednesday, 1916 was brought back to life.

The title is "A Romance of Quincy" featuring local people in all the roles, and Wednesday at the Quincy Historical Society, a live piano score by Del Case.

"It's kind of a forgotten part of movie history," says Ed Fitzgerald, the Executive Director of the Historical Society.

He says the film company that made the movie would visit small cities, with the same script, cast locals and use local landmarks. They would knock out a silent film in a matter of days.

"You get to see people you know, and places you know on the screen," Fitzgerald says.

Quincy film
"A Romance Of Quincy" (WBZ-TV)

Like the Fore River Shipyard and Quincy Center. And the movie themes are classic.

"The movie is basically a melodrama you'd have to call it. There's a love story with some jealousy and a bad guy who tries to break up the romance and frame the hero, but love triumphs in the end," Fitzgerald says.

There's also a zany cop, and a cast of as many Quincy people as the filmmakers could jam in. "That definitely put fannies in the chairs, and people were very excited to see their friends, their neighbors and colleagues," says Donna Halper a media historian at Lesley University.

That excitement continued Wednesday when two cousins saw their uncle, who played the handsome young hero. "I had no idea he was in this film until I read the Ledger yesterday. And I called my cousin and said we have to go see the movie because Uncle Jim is in it," says Kathryn Barry.

It's a fascinating look back at the Quincy of old.

The movie played at the Kincaide Theatre in Quincy and was so popular that on opening night in 1916 they had to turn away 500 people. The film was found by the granddaughter of one of the actors, in a box in her attic.

She took it to get professionally restored, made DVD copies, and gave one to the Quincy Historical Society. The Society plans additional screenings.

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