The Arcadia Theater is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a FREE, 1 hour movie about the Johnstown Flood of 1977, specifically focusing on the effects to Windber, PA. This program is provided in conjunction with Media Xchange of Windber, PA. Who would have thought that it has been 40 years since this tragedy struck our region. Come out to enjoy some history about our region and honor all of those individuals who lost their lives.
Media Xchange of Windber, a legacy media conversion company, will be providing an opportunity to view never-before-seen footage of the aftermath of the 1977 Johnstown Flood. On Wednesday, July 19, in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the disaster, two screenings of amateur footage shot by now deceased Windber resident George Gavalchik will be shown at the Arcadia Theater, 1418 Graham Avenue in Windber. The show times are 2 pm and 7 pm and the event is free and open to the public.
The Arcadia Theater itself was ravaged by the 1977 floodwaters. While not part of the actual City of Johnstown, the Windber community suffered considerable damage and loss as a result of the “100 year storm” that dumped 12 inches of rain over the Greater Johnstown and surrounding area within a 24 hour period. Gavalchik shot the footage himself with his Super 8 camera the day after the flood. His son, Tom Gavalchik, of Windber, found the footage and converted it to DVD in an effort to preserve it.
“There is very little film of the “77 flood available out there that wasn’t part of footage shot by a news crew. It’s been 40 years and one would think that they’ve seen everything and heard every story, but we are learning that there can always be more to add”, said Michael Kovatich, President of Media Xchange.
This footage provides a perspective that very few have been able to see outside of a few photographs. “The purpose of this event is to gather people together to remember this day in our history, share some nostalgia for the Windber area and honor those in the Windber community who lost their lives, some under very heroic circumstances,” said Kovatich.