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The Last of the Moonlight Towers: Film Screening and Q&A

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

 

The Last of the Moonlight Towers: Film Screening and Q&A

 

Date/Time:

Tuesday January 10th
6:30pm

Location:

The Austin History Center, Grand Hallway
810 Guadalupe, Austin, TX

This event is free and open to the public

 

The Austin History Center invites you to a special screening of the new documentary film, "Last of the Moonlight Towers," by Ray Spivey and Jeff Kerr. The film tells the story of one of Austin's most celebrated landmarks and how Austin came to be the only city with these towers today. David Hoffman, the architect responsible for restoring the towers in the 1980s, says "the film shines a light on the inventive minds and bold spirits that brought the towers to Austin." A Q&A with the filmmakers will follow the screening, and light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

 

For more information on this event, click here.

About the Film:

At one time dozens of cities across America and the world basked in their glow. Within a generation they were obsolete, as tall buildings and urban sprawl rendered the light they provided insufficient. By the mid-twentieth century they had vanished from the urban landscape. With one exception: Austin, Texas.

What are they? Those who erected them called them electric tower lights. We know them by the more romantic name of moonlight towers. Some people say they came to Austin in response to America's first serial killer. Mathew McConaughey hosted a party beneath one in the 1995 film Dazed and Confused. Part of Austin's first street lighting system, each of these slender giants rises 165 feet into the sky to provide enough illumination to read a watch at a distance of 1500 feet, or so the company that installed them claimed.

Hurricanes, tornados, and errant utility trucks have taken their toll over the years, but seventeen of Austin's original 31 towers survive as testaments to the progressive policies of an earlier age. Historical designation in the 1970's and a complete restoration in the 1990's helped insure that Austin residents will enjoy these iconic artifacts for decades to come. No other city in the world has them. They are graceful, they are unique, they are the Last of the Moonlight Towers.

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