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My family grew up in the film business, if you count home movies. My grandfather Cy Gallen loved to shoot and edit his 16mm home movies. He would go to the local Sears department store and order special titles to be made to insert into his productions.



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Since my father Norman and his twin brother Gilbert were born in 1928 their lives were documented on 16mm home movie film. My father picked up the reins of shooting and editing home movies while he dated and then married Sylvia Hirstreet, spawning Ira Herman (me) in 1950, and then my sister Rona Yvette two years later. Then my sister and I continued the tradition and started documenting our lives during the video and digital age.

The first time I ever learned who Charlie Chaplin was when we had the family gathering around the 16mm silent projector. I was expecting to see some of Dad's latest camerawork when in between a scene he shot of my sister and I making a mess eating ice cream, he cut to the famous ice cream gag and chase scene from his film The Adventurer (1916).

30 years apart scenes shot in the same family driveway

 Gallen Family Photos

The Gallen Family Home Movies and Unknown Friends 1930 (16mm B&W)

The twins' first Overcoat November 7, 1930

Later on, people were able to shoot home movies with a much smaller camera and film size known as 8mm and later super 8mm celluloid stock. This opened the world of  home movies to the larger public to document their family and events they experienced, but not for watching films at home.

Watch Ira Gallen discuss how to document and preserve family history through home movies.

My sister Rona, and friends running under the sprinklers on a hot summer day in Brooklyn.    8mm  Color

 Ira playing with his Snub Noise 38 gun & shoulder holster by Mattel. 1960 Brooklyn

8mm   Color

The family with friends during the Easter holiday 1962    Brooklyn       8mm Color

Looking Back In Time with Gallen Home Movies 1960’s


& GILBERT 1930 16mm Home Movies

Cy Gallen Family take a Trip 1932

The Gallen Family Members 1930

Cy Gallen and his wife Clara take a day trip with friends 1930

Gallen Family Visiting 1876 East 24th Street

Brooklyn NY 1930

The Gallen Twins Norman &^ Gilbert playing outside 1930 Brooklyn NY 16mm

Gallen Vacation to White Sulpher Springs, NY 1932

Cy Gallen Family take a Trip 1940

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