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Rochester Subway Documentary DVD

Rochester Subway Documentary to be released on Special Edition DVD

Rochester, New York's SubwayThe definitive history of Rochester, New York's subway will soon be available on DVD. "The End of the Line - Rochester's Subway" tells the little known story of the rail line that operated in a former section of the Erie Canal from 1927 until its abandonment in 1956. Produced in 1994 by filmmakers Fredrick Armstrong and James P. Harte, the forty-five minute documentary recounts the tale of an American city's bumpy ride through the Twentieth Century, from the perspective of a little engine that could, but didn't.

Billed as the story of the smallest city in America to build and abandon a subway, "The End of the Line - Rochester's Subway" originally aired on PBS and The History Channel. It earned a Bronze Telly Award and was voted Best of the Fest at The Rochester Independent Film Festival. For twelve years it has taught young and old the history of New York's third largest city.

Now that Rochester has made the controversial decision to bury its experiment with rapid transit, Armstrong and Harte have decided to re-master "The End of the Line" for DVD. This Special Edition will contain forty-five minutes of extra features including:

• Over one hundred and fifty archival photographs
• Artifacts of the subway
• A period motion picture and soundtrack
• Original artwork
• Video of the subway's last surviving passenger car and one of the last men to operate it
• Unique footage of the subway's doomed remnants

This last feature stands out as the only safe and legal way to tour the subway's Broad Street tunnel before it is filled with dirt next winter.

"This was a very important production for us," says Armstrong, owner of Animatus Studio and The Animation Workshop. Since making "The End of the Line," I've received letters from customers all over the world telling me how much they enjoyed watching it. I grew up in Rochester and rode the subway when I was about four years old. I could hardly remember it. This project helped me recall an important part of who we are and where we're from. The letters are great because I know the film does the same thing for other people, even those who have never been here. Maybe that's because our experience is similar in some ways to that of other cities."

A transplant from New York City, Harte says, "Our job was to document the history of a subway, but we wanted to do more than that. We saw that the history of the subway paralleled the history of Rochester in the Twentieth Century. That gave us the opportunity to tell the story of a city using the subway as a vehicle. It was great for me because I'd just moved here a year or two before. The subway has a certain sadness to it, but I didn't want that to be the whole story. This place has a lot of heart and guts too. The greatest satisfaction I've had is hearing young people tell how it makes them appreciate what Rochester was and what it could be. I think it makes them proud. I know it does for me."

Collaborating on the Special Edition of "The End of the Line" are Mike Boas and Dave Puls of Animatus Studio and cinematographer Tim Brown. Providing music are world-renowned composer Phil Carli and Rochester's traditional music duo, The Dady Brothers.

Animatus expects to have the new DVD available for purchase by mid-September, before the scheduled fill-in of the subway's Broad Street tunnel. The price will be $29.95.

Animatus Studio has been operating in Rochester, NY since 1989. The studio specializes in traditional animation for film and video, but also handles web animation, 3D and 2D graphics, and video editing.

PRESS CONTACT: Fred Armstrong, Animatus Studio
PHONE: (585) 232-1740
FAX: (585) 232-3949
EMAIL: fred(AT)


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