Chance to Play, A

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Moving Image:Chance to Play, A
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Chance to Play, A is a short film from 1950 released on 16mm. It is held in the Prelinger Archives collection.

Film about the need for Americans to have more places to participate in sports, recreation, and other leisure activities. Considers the special needs of young people, the elderly and workers for recreation. Also shows the evil things that happen when young people have too much time on their hands (crime, juvenile delinquency). Builds the case for the importance of nighttime recreation (and the necessity for the use of floodlights).

Voiceovers: "In most cities throughout America today, playgrounds are woefully lacking and youngsters are forced to seek amusements in the city streets." "the problem of recreation in America must be solved, not by any single group alone, but by the active participation of every citizen in the land." "Today public-spirited groups of every kind are zealously working to make up for the omissions of the past promoting and even helping to finance more and better playgrounds; Throughout the country, progressive municipalities are coming to realize that recreation is an essential part of community life ranking in importance with public health and education." kids playing in the streets; kids playing baseball; hopscotch; jump rope; accident; many people looking down at a traffic accident victim; kids playing paddleball young men playing cards together "bad boys" children smoking; juvenile delinquents; sourfaced youth in the company of a police officer; sanitarium sign; signs: "Selectees" (draftees); "Council Chamber"; teaching swimming; lifeguards; handball; archery; elderly on park benches; shuffleboard; lawn bowling; checkers; factory and secretarial pool scenes; tennis; boys enter bars; men drinking in bars; bar games ; men flirting with women; Ebbets Field, exterior and sign, people milling around outside stadium; floodlights (outdoors, nighttime) major league baseball game (night) propaganda for nightime recreation; nightime tennis; much shuffleboard; sign: "BATHERS MUST USE SHOWERS BEFORE ENTERING POOL" pools; basketball; football; skiing all ages; sledding; ice skating; family; ice skating rink; putting on skates.

The first three-quarters of this film has a variety of good public recreation shots including outdoor paddle ball, swimming, tennis, basketball, baseball, bocci (for old people), and four square, but the shots are very short.

 12:27:51- 12:28:05

Nice sledding sequence. Starts with three boys taking running starts with their sleds. Cuts to various shots of children (and a few adults) sledding in a crowded area of a city park (Central Park-?). The last image is of a toboggan with about ten people on it.

 12:28:39- 12:28:47

Great image of nighttime ice skating at a busy rink. Flood lights illuminate the rink. Two teenage girls stop looping around the rink and seem to look at the camera.

 12:24:14- 12:29:27
Longer nighttime ice skating shot. An older couple (with arms looped together) seems to lead the skaters. The ice looks thick and worn out.

Chance to Play, A
Produced byMarch of Time
March of Time
Distributed byMarch of Time
Release date
Running time
ewid: 2269 | Fresh | || dopt: {{{dopt}}}