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travelfilmarchive

Andre de la Varre Play

Born in Washington D.C. in 1902, Andre de la Varre quit school at age 17, bought a motion picture camera, and went to Europe to find adventure. He began making his own travel films and in 1924 became a cameraman for Burton Holmes. In the early 1930's, de la Varre went out on his own as "The Screen Traveler" and made theatrical shorts for independent release as well as for many of the major Hollywood Studios. He traveled and filmed constantly. In an autobiographical sketch, he wrote: "During the winter of 1938-39 I drove more than 10,000 miles through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. I covered not only cities and coastal regions but criss-crossed back and forth over the Atlas, Djurdjura, Kebelie, and Aures mountains. I also visited many of the oases on the Northern Sahara and crossed over trails or no trails in the deserts and mountains." De la Varre continued traveling and making films for the next forty years and died in Vienna, Austria at the age of 87.

Burton Holmes Play

Burton Holmes is considered the father of the travelogue, having coined the term in 1904 to advertise his unique live stage presentations combining stories of his travels with slides and motion pictures. Sophisticated and elegantly attired, Holmes became the world's most famous traveler during the first half of the 20th century through his books, magazine articles, lectures and films. Born into a prosperous Chicago family in 1870, Holmes turned a chance encounter in the early 1890's with John L. Stoddard, the then reigning 19th century travel lecturer, into a lifelong career. Each summer for over fifty years Holmes would roam the globe and then tour American auditoriums in the winter; during the 1945-46 season alone, at age 75, he gave 157 two-hour lectures. Slowed by ill health and television, Holmes retired to Hollywood in 1952 and died there in 1958. His company, Burton Holmes International, survived into the 1970s.
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