"In Focus" was the newsletter of the Army Pictorial Center. Eleanore Mencik recalled that when she went to work as a clerk-typist for Information Officer LTC George B. Schuyler, one of her duties was to type "In Focus.
Don Fednyak has provided the July 1958 edition. Eleanore (Mencik) Jettmar provided additional issues:
From In Focus March 1962
From the moment the word leaked out to the nation's press corps the public read thousands of lines of type and viewed numerous photographs about the Army entering the magic realm of motion pictures to produce training films.
It all started with the first printed lines speculating as to when and where the Army would set up its venture in the realm of celluloid. The endless stories in newspapers and trade journals followed the purchase of Paramount's Astoria studios, the Army moving in, formal dedication ceremonies and on and on.
Below are some of these stories picked at random from historical files.
WAR DEPT. EYES STUDIOS IN NY FOR CIVILIAN PIX
New York -- The War Dept. is now reported considering the takeover of Warner's Brooklyn studio for the production of training and civilian films, with a decision on either the Warner's plant or Paramount's Long Island studio expected this month.
(Printed 8 Jan 1942)
ARMY TAKING OVER ASTORIA PLANT AS LAB
New York, Jan. 13. -- It is understood that a deal has virtually been set for the Army to take over Paramount's Eastern Service Studios at Astoria, Long Island, for a Signal Corps film production laboratory.
Technicians from the Signal Corps probably will be moving in within the next couple of weeks, with the expansion of its facilities at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, for the production of Army pictures.
(Printed 14 Jan 1942 in Variety)
SIGNAL CORPS NY STUDIO NO H'WOOD COMPETITION
Lt. Col. Darryl Zanuck has been advised by the War Dept. that the acquisition of a New York studio for the Signal Corps will not affect the production of training films now being made by the Academy's Research Council, as elaborate production facilities will not be established in the East.
(Printed early in 1942)
ARMY FILM MAKERS SET UP CAMERAS HERE, A WHITE ELEPHANT FINALLY PAYS OFF
Whatever hopes Mayor La Guardia and certain independent film producers might have entertained about setting up a miniature Hollywood in New York were finally and completely crushed last week. For it was announced in Washington that the War Department has acquired for the exclusive use of the Army Signal Corps the only motion picture studio in these parts that has the necessary floor space for any extensive film production.
The Signal Corps has requested that the name of the studio and its location be treated as a military secret, but revealed that the Army Training Film Laboratory, now -quartered in Fort Monmouth, N. J., will transfer its activities to the new headquarters.
The Training Film Laboratory, commanded by Lt, Col, Melvin E. Gillette, has in the last three years expanded from practically a one-man undertaking into an organization now composed of approximately 250 soldiers and 35 officers.
It is to this unit that many draftees from the motion picture industry have been assigned.
Because of the importance commanders in the field have lately attached to motion pictures as visual aids in training soldiers and in acquainting troops with the working of various instruments of war, the T.F.L. has had in recent months to step up its activities beyond the capacity of its present production facilities. The Army film makers are scheduled to move into their new home here in March. Meanwhile the main building of the new headquarters, which houses the studio stages and other facilities, will be re-conditioned and the workshop building will be converted into a barracks for the soldiers.
(Printed 1 Feb 1942 in the New York Times)
SIGNAL CORPS SEEN AS STAYING IN EAST
New York, Aug. 18. -- Washington reports that Major General Dawson -Olmstead, chief Signal Corps officer, is coming to Astoria late in September to install the first permanent motion picture
Signal Corps is seen as scotching rumors that the photographic corps would move from New York to the Coast. Reports were born of the wishful thinking of the rank and filers at Astoria, many of whom hail from Hollywood and would prefer being headquartered there.
(Printed 18 Aug 1942 in Variety)
MAYOR LA GUARDIA, WELCOMES SIGNAL CORPS MOVIE CENTER
His Honor, the Mayor, arrived at the United States' Army Signal Corps Photographic Center in Long Island City yesterday on the dot of 4:30 p.m. to officially welcome via NOC hookup "this very important Army post in our town. I've been trying to get moving pictures back in this shack for a long time."
Mayor LaGuardia's brief broadcast, reiterating previous speaker Major General Dawson Olmstead's invitation to men interested in all means of communication, film production, and photography, to enlist in the Signal Corps, followed a two-hour inspection tour of the plant by some hundred members of the press. Colonel M. E. Gillette, commanding the Signal Corps, acted as host, and m.c.'d the radio program, which was climaxed by the screening of a nostalgic compilation of clips from ancient Paramount films, and three short Signal Corps subjects.
(Printed 23 Sept 1942 in the New York Post)
CIVILIAN WRITERS ON SIGNAL CORPS FILMS
New York -- Practically all script material for Army and Air Force Film will in the future be turned out at the Signal Corps' photographic center at the Astoria studios on Long Island, and civilian writers are being hired to speed up the work, it was learned here yesterday. Approximately 50 civilian writers will be brought on from Hollywood and will be paid at the rate of $20 per day plus $6 daily for sustenance."
(Printed 12 Nov 1942)