This photo from earlier in the week prompted questions in the comments and in my email about the earliest film we have that was shot on campus:
Sadly but predictably, we’ve never found the smallest trace of the movies that were made at the Formal Opening. (If you know where it is, please call soonest!) The first film we have dates to the late 1930s. Called “Through the Sallyport,” it was given to Rice by Dorothy Weiser Seale ’37 (the daughter of Chemistry professor and Dean, Harry Weiser). It’s interesting mainly for its age–it’s silent, a series of plotless images of students goofing around in various venues on and near campus. We have it on dvd if you’d like to come in and take a look.
I did recently happen upon a tantalizing reference in the April 13, 1916 edition of the Thresher, though, just a small wisp of excitement about “movies” on campus: