You Should Stream: This 1937 Travel Doc Is the Oldest Surviving Film Footage of Lima

Lima is one of Latin America’s great metropolises, but what might the chaotic city of almost nine million have looked like 80 years ago? Well, you couldeasily  find out with a quick Google image search, but we’ve found a better way to relive the city’s glorious past thanks to a short 1937 documentary from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Entitled Glimpses of Peru”, the short subject was part of MGM’s Traveltalks series, which would play before marquee films back in the long-lost golden age of theatergoing.

Narrated by an enthusiastic voiceover that extolls the virtues of the “modern and up-to-date metropolis,” a brief surviving clip from the doc takes us through some of the Peruvian capital’s most iconic landmarks, from the Plaza de Armas (pronounce in thickest possible gringo accent) to the La Cabaña country club, with a brief detour to the Metro Theater for the narrator to savor the sight of a Traveltalks doc on the marquee.

The ornate buildings of the city center will probably look familiar to contemporary Limeños, but there’s nothing like classic cars and old-timey dress to hit all those nostalgia buttons and get us teary-eyed about how simple life used to be. For his part, our trusty narrator was clearly smitten with the cosmopolitan glamor of the “surprise city of South America,” presumably because he found “modern hotels… and all the 20th century innovations,” instead of precarious straw huts.

Word on the street is that this is the oldest surviving motion picture footage of Lima’s early 20th-century grandeur, so sit back and take a little trip through time with Glimses of Peru.


H/T Perú.com