An Empty Yankee Stadium Was Used As A Filming Location For Buster Keaton’s “The Cameraman”
Here Are Some Views Of A “Different” Yankee Stadium In 1928
90 years ago, Buster Keaton made The Cameraman, a comedy in which he played a newsreel cameraman trying to get newsworthy footage. Many of the scenes were shot on location in New York City.
In one scene Keaton figures he’ll head up to the Bronx and film some baseball action sequences. He arrives at Yankee Stadium and hurries in with his camera ready to catch the Bronx Bombers, only to discover the Yankees are not playing that day.
That does not stop Keaton from indulging in fantasy, as the empty stadium looms as a backdrop to his antics.
In real life Keaton was a baseball fanatic. This was a time when many Hollywood studios had their own baseball teams and played against one another. In the written application to work with Keaton’s company, there were two questions on the form: 1. Are you a good actor? 2. Can you play baseball? If you answered yes to both you probably could get a job working with Keaton.
Yankee Stadium opened in 1923. Over the next ten years constant changes occurred to the dimensions, seating and field itself creating the classic Yankee Stadium that most fans are familiar with either first-hand or through old photographs.
Presented below are stills from Buster Keaton’s classic film, The Cameraman.
In the opening Yankee Stadium sequence Keaton enters through center field. Note the unfinished right field stands. As originally configured, straight away center field was over 490 feet away from home plate! The bleachers could hold over 10,000 fans. The flagpole was on the playing field and there were no plaques or monuments in Yankee Stadium yet, honoring the “greats.”
A locker room manager emerges from the dugout to tell Keaton, the Yankees are not at home. If you look at the “box seats” you can see that they are really “boxed” off with movable chairs. Continue reading