The collection consists of motion picture exhibition ephemera (lantern slides, publicity photographs, and paper) saved by Robert L. Sardino during his years working in motion picture theaters in Syracuse, New York.
The collection consists of archival materials saved by Robert L. Sardino during the years he was employed in motion picture theaters in Syracuse, New York. This collection also contains objects Sardino salvaged when the Paramount Theater in Syracuse, New York was demolished in 1967. He spent the bulk of his career at the Paramount Theater. Included are theater schedules; blank payroll documents; photographs of employees, theater interiors, and marquees, as well as publicity stills of actors and for motion pictures; certificates; motion picture advertising and press releases. There is a large number of glass lantern slides relating to a variety of topics such as current news events, sports, scenic views, and "coming attractions."
The collection is arranged into four series.
Series 1, Personal Papers and Ephemera, 1942-1981, undated
Series 2, Paramount and Schine Theaters (Syracuse, New York), 1947-1970, undated
Series 3, Motion Pictures, Publicity Stills, Advertisements, and Souvenir Programs 1942-1968, undated
Series 4, Lantern Slides, 1914-1915, undated
Subseries 4.1, American Press Association, undated
Subseries 4.2, Brenkert Light Projection Company (BLPC), undated
Subseries 4.4, Maurice Workstel, Incorporated, undated
Subseries 4.5, Other, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Robert L. Sardino was born in New York state December 11, 1897, the son of John and Palma Sardino. Both of his parents were born in Italy, and Palma notes in the 1920 census that she had immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1881. His father died at an early age and by the 1920 census Palma was listed as being head of the household. Robert joined the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), local 376, on January 24, 1915. According to family oral history Robert began work at the age of fourteen, in the 1920 census he is noted as an "operator" in a "picture show." His brothers, Frank and Alphonsa, were both in the motion picture theater business. By 1930 Frank is noted as a "theater proprietor." Alphonsa is noted as a "picture theater" manager as early as 1920. For the greatest part of his life, Robert worked in and around Syracuse, New York. During his working life, he was employed by Paramount-Publix Corporation, later known as Paramount Pictures, Incorporated and also the Schine Corporation theater owners and developers. He worked in Syracuse at the Paramount Theater which was demolished in 1967. Family history maintains Robert worked until he was seventy-five years old.
Robert served in the military during World War I. On his registration card he is described as being of medium height and build, grey eyes, and black hair. He was then working as an auto mechanic in Old Forge, New York. In May 1928, Robert married Florence Owen, daughter of David and Charlotte Bostwick Owen. They had two children, Delores and Roberta. The marriage ended and in the 1940 census Robert was living with his daughters and was noted as being a projectionist in a movie theater. Later that year he married Irene Boniface Simiele, also a divorcee, with a young son, Joseph.
Robert died in Syracuse, New York on February 3, 1981.
The Division of Culture and the Arts (now Division of Cultural and Community Life) holds these objects associated with this collection: Accession number 1984.0789 includes: Basket; Frame, Exit Sign; Screen, Cinerama; Speaker, Car, Drive-in Movie; Plate, End-Seat Aisle Camp Cover; Holder; Disc, Transcription.
Collection donated by Irene B. Sardino, widow of Robert L. Sardino, to the Division of Social and Cultural History, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, in 1984.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.