KCRA Film Archives Feed National Media
SacTV.com "Video of the Day" review by
Alex Cosper on Jan. 26, 2012
Sacramento's most watched televsion station for decades has been KCRA Channel 3. Their slogan "Where the News Comes First"
is an authoritative claim backed by national recognition and its vast archives of regional film. No other local or national
news service has more film archives of the region, according to James Henley, former Manager of the
Center for Sacramento History.
This video shows rows of KCRA film archives that are often sought by national news sources reporting on
historic events in Sacramento such as Ronald Reagan's term as California governor or the assassination attempt on
President Ford when he visited the State Capitol.
Produced by long time Channel 3 Reporter Steve LaRosa, this video presents clips of classic KCRA footage that live on at the Center for
Sacramento History, a museum where Henley worked for over 40 years. Henley explains how the Center leases
the rights to the films for documentaries. The films were donated to the museum by the original KCRA
owners Kelly Broadcasting. Henley says this is "the largest collection of local news film in the nation,"
which reminds us that Sacramento-Stockton is in fact a top 20 television market in the nation.
The films are also used for exhibits at the museum. Other examples used in documentaries include the
Patty Hearst case, youth protests in the 60s and state politics at the Capitol.
The news reels are organized by broadcast date. When someone wants to research an event in Sacramento history,
knowing the date accelerates the process. The collection includes various special features as in travel, which
the station used to sell to other stations who couldn't afford to do their own travel stories. Other specials about
local disasters such as fires, flooding and drought can be found in the archives. The amazing revelation about this
video is that it reminds us Sacramento is not a small town where nothing goes on. It's a major metropolis
where national history is made .. and preserved.
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