The first is a real city, an urban agglomeration of millions. The second is a mythic city, so rich in memory and association and sense of place that to people everywhere it has come to seem real: the New York of such films such as 42nd Street, Rear Window, King Kong, Dead End, The Naked City, Ghostbusters, Annie Hall, Taxi Driver, and Do the Right Thing. A dream city of the imagination, born of that most pervasive of dream media, the movies.

Based on the award-winning book by the architect James Sanders, the Celluloid Skyline website is a multimedia exploration of cities, film, and architecture. It is based on the premise that the mythic city of “movie New York,” which has entertained and excited audiences around the world for generations, is also something more: an extraordinary urban resource, with profound lessons about the design and use of cities.
 

Visions of the Dream City, a special interactive feature created for the site, provides an innovative way to explore the shape and meaning of the urban landscape, using a series of extraordinary reference photographs taken by Hollywood crews across the 20th century.

Building the Dream City, another special feature, offers a gallery of rare and unusual production drawings of movie New York from the legendary RKO art department.

Sidewalk Glimpses, a third special feature, offers an interactive database with links to fifty-five early “actuality” films, shot on the streets of New York City from 1896 to 1906, which can be downloaded from Library of Congress’s Paper Print Collection.




The site also includes materials from the book itself, including a bibliography, an interactive filmography, a sample chapter, a table of contents, as well as excerpts of reviews of the book, and an essay about the book’s research and writing.