The bold folks behind the British Pathé Library have been around since the late 1800s, and they took quite a few detours to our own slice of earth.
Here’s a frightful thought for those of you under 55; folks around the world used to watch the news at the cinema. Yes, friends, cinema newsreels were the talk of the town way back in the early 1900s, and folks would come to a weekly screening of a reel to witness the world outside their horizons, all splayed out on the silver screen. The most famous iteration into the cinema newsreel and documentary scene throughout the ages has been British Pathé; named after renowned French filmmaker Charles Pathé – the man who introduced the whole concept.
As it happens, the folks behind British Pathé have been to Egypt on a multitude of occasions. Whether it was to document how life was back in the 30’s, troops stationed in the desert back in the 40’s or just a scenic tour through mid-60’s Cairo, these globetrotting filmmakers have had quite the vested Interest in Om El Donia. Maybe Egypt as it stands right now comes off as a post-apocalypse, but seeing it way back in the 40's, 50's and 60's? Something you do not want to miss.
Alexandria in the 60’s was quite the sight.
Take a walk through old Alexandria in a time where things were a lot less grimy, and a hell of a lot more picturesque.
Cairo wasn’t too bad either.
This narrator is slowly but happily killing me. Ever though 60’s Cairo in cool technicolour would be this (frighteningly) attractive? Well, we kind of did.
We even had a bunch of royal ballerinas.
You flaunt that tutu, Doreen.
Thebes was a pretty happening place.
The music in this one is something else.
Downtown was a lot less crowded.
I mean they only had like 30-something cars on the road back then.
Not everything was colourful though.
War isn’t a stranger to our happy little country. If you wanted a clearer picture of what the Second World War was like in Alamein, then here’s your chance.
If seeing kids with guns playing pass-the-ball-for-no-reason wasn’t something on your watch list, it is now, friendo.
A more in-depth look at the escapades if 1956.
What did British grunts do on vacation?
Nobby and Ginger have an adventure.
A King passes. Another rises.
There was that one time King Bin Saud came to visit. That was nice.
What could be a better investment of your time than watching decked-out regality in full black and white?
A… brideless wedding?
We’re not ones to judge.
Bling Bling Bling
You don’t need colour to spot the shine.
A pretty rare look at Shiite Muslims back in late 50’s Aswan.
A sad event, but beautiful to witness much the same.
The Nile had a bit more colour back then.
That’s it, we need to go back to the 60’s.
What even are camels?
Is this narrator working for you too? I would hope so.
Somebody give that statue a cigarette.
Remember that time when Ramses II moved back in the 50’s? You do now.
The British Pathé Library (featuring the Reuters historical collection) is a veritable wealth of cinematic bits and pieces of early 20th century history from around the waking world, and these few entries on Egypt here are barely even a fraction of what it has to offer. So if you find yourself in need of some vintage entertainment, why not explore the site?