The team that digitizes film at the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection at Southern Methodist University uploaded another hidden gem this week.
This 1969 orientation and recruitment video from the Perkins School of Theology starts out pretty bland. There are shots of church services, of SMU buildings and a snippet of campus life.
Then around the 4:20 mark, the tone changes, starting with street views of Abe Weinstein’s Colony Club, advertising “topless girls,” and Honest Joe’s pawnshop.
Exterior shots of nightclubs The Cellar and the Court Jester appear, along with Coke’s Gym, Bill’s Lounge and the original B.F. Darrell school, a demolished historic landmark that was Dallas’ first Black high school.
It also shows footage of some low-income parts of Dallas, including what appear to be Oak Cliff, South Dallas and Old East Dallas.
The film displayed the seedier side of Dallas as a way to show prospective students that we needed Jesus.
There’s also a bite on what is now Methodist Dallas Medical Center, including exterior and interior shots, starting around the 8:45 mark.