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A Rare Early Look at Southern California Beaches

Southern California

As we near the end of summer, let's take a look at some Southern California beaches, roughly 90 years ago. Recently rediscovered at the Academy Film Archive, this gorgeous silent footage includes aerial shots of Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Balboa Island, and Laguna Beach. The tinted imagery showcases seaside cliffs, orange groves, families at the beach, oil fields peppering Huntington Beach, and boats exploring Newport Beach’s harbor.

Produced by Herman Fowler around 1925, the film appears to be part of a short documentary series titled Know Your Own Country, which profiled the landscape and manufacturing industries of various regions in the nation. The series may have been produced as an offshoot to an Australian series of the same name and concept. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive, the complete film includes animation about the region’s oil industry and the processes behind oil drilling and refining. For more information about the Academy’s preservation work and our holdings, visit the Academy Film Archive.