Fast on the heels of the Seattle World's Fair, New York's bid to hold another fair in 1964 was turned down by the international commission. That didn't stop Mayor Robert Wagner, who stubbornly launched the symbolic 250-ton "unisphere" stainless steel globe onto its pedestal in Flushing Meadows, Queens, for the two-year fair. While including fond remembrances from visitors who reminisce about sneaking in, indulging in first kisses in the Coca-Cola Pavilion, and the like, much of this 52-minute video is dedicated to examining the fair's failures. Dubbed "an old fair in new time," it was criticized for being the opposite of the city's 1939 fair: rather than predicting the future, it floundered in the postwar boom of the decade prior. Shots of its construction, promotional films, and news footage provide the documentary with its visuals, while historians and fairgoers examine the fair that ran the gamut from Michelangelo's Pietà
to General Motor's Futurama exhibit. --Kimberly Heinrichs
Relive the dazzle, wonder and fun of The 1964 World's Fair. An extraordinary documentary, narrated by Judd Hirsch, that takes a fresh look at the sights and sounds of this once-in-a-lifetime event. Part futuristic exhibition, part glittery strip mall, the 1964 New York World's Fair was planned amid the optimism of the late 1950s, but the Fair's two-year run often mirrored the chaos of the 1960s. The Fair was a brawling, costly and altogether chaotic event, but few of the 52 million people who attended noticed. So jump in that old station wagon and take a ride back to the 1964 New York World's Fair!