Historic Nightlife In Motion

“A history of nightlife!–what an interesting concept…activities that take place in the multitude of discos, dance parlors, and clubs…the way people live is determined on half-lit streets, in bars, and in smoky late-night restaurants.

— David Byrne

Throughout history, nightlife has represented perhaps both the best and worst of many cultures – from the lively Jazz clubs of America to the glittering cabarets and theatres of Weimar Germany to the Prohibition-forced ‘Speakeasy’ clubs and organised crime gangs of New York there are clips of nightlife in all its forms held in the archive.

Our archive of exclusive footage clips is growing all the time so there is always something new to discover.

Jazz and Dance Clubs


Dive into the nightlife of some of the planet’s most exciting cities – from the secret speakeasy clubs of New York to some of history’s best Jazz clubs. Drinks are poured and musicians play on as onlookers dance wildly!

Cities, Streets and Bars


The streets are glistening with neon lights in this footage. Some clips are shot from the open windows of cars and buses, and some clips are stationery studies of the neon lights and flashing signs. These are fascinating historic artefacts as many of these streets aren’t recognisable today.

Cabaret and Theatre


Weimar’s glittering cabarets are unmissable – the scale of their parties is quite unmatched! Much of this footage is taken from documentaries and is historically significant. From high-speed dancing to slow cabarets, different types of performance are shown here.

Highlight: 1920’s Berlin New Year’s party

Discover a New year’s eve fireworks party and celebration in 1920’s Berlin. A lively gathering with champagne, cocktails and dancing.


Can’t find the clip you’re looking for?

We offer free research, so please contact us if you need help sourcing anything from the archive.

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