Joe Lipkowitz


Joe Lipkowitz was one of the people who walked in the door of Signal Corps Photographic Center and stayed with the studio until Army Pictorial Center closed in 1970.  Read more about Joe and see more pictures below.


To Whom It May Concern: 

I am the daughter of Joseph Lipkowitz, who was the Chief of the Camera Branch at APC. 

I remember so vividly coming to the studio as a child and experience the biggest sound stage of the east coast.  My memories are so distinct and wonderful.  I also recall seeing many famous people when I did visit - Alexander Scorby - for one - one of my favorite voices. 

I also accompanied my dad on location when he was cinematographer on the award winning documentary, "The Unconquered," the story of Helen Keller.  It was shot in Westport - at her home.  An experience I will never ever forget.  I actually spent time with her alone.  She and my dad were quite close. 

I can't sleep and just missed my dad so much this evening.  He's been gone for 10 years come July.  He was a very important part of my life and still is - in memory.  What a treat to see his picture in the APC personnel roster.  Thanks again for the memories.


Notes about Joe Lipkowitz:

Joe Lipkowitz was a memorable part of Army Pictorial Center.  He could talk about the day in 1942 when Sergeant Lipkowitz walked into the old Paramount studio alongside the colonel who would command Signal Corps Photographic Center.  The old studio was crammed with old equipment, props and sets, and a lot of material got tossed as the Army got ready to work.

Rising to chief of Camera Branch, Joe never forgot his GI beginning.  He was often the first person in the department at work each morning, and could be found sweeping up the office before tackling his day's duties.  He worked well with both military and civilian personnal, both high and low, earning respect by giving respect.

In charge of the studio's cameras and cameramen, Joe had stocked the Camera Branch office with a fabulous collection of antique motion picture cameras, many 35mm hand-cranked models from silent film days, like a cherry-wood Pathe or a black finish Universal, all in working condition.  Joe also kept, on a shelf behind his gray metal GI desk, one of the two Academy Awards won by the studio.

Long after the studio closed, Joe remained my friend, if at a distance and with infrequent contact.  Every year or two, I'd call his telephone number in Massapequa Park, and we'd chat a little about the old days, about how he was doing, and about his daughters.  Finally one day, the telephone number didn't work, and it became apparent that, like so many of the wonderful characters at the old studio, Joe had his final fade-out. 

This website is great place to collect and share these memories.  Thanks to all who have provided information.  And if you haven't written yet, send in your contribution.


Debbie Lipkowitz wrote:

I just received a "heads-up" from my sister about this website. I'm the second daughter of Joe Lipkowitz and I am thrilled to see this site!

Dad will be gone 14 years on July 7 and anyone who knew him, knew he was someone you didn't easily forget.  To read the blurb brings back so many memories - I can hear my dad telling his seemingly endless stories.  He loved his work, the opportunity to serve this country and the APC family. 

I wish I could share the many pictures I have from his notebooks. And in all fairness, my mother Sarah Schleiffer Lipkowitz was also at the studio as a stenographer, and until her death in 1987, I don't think Dad ever had a cold. They were a fiercely loyal and loving couple in their own way, the way children rarely think about their parents and he missed her terribly. 

I remember the pictures of the APC parties, and my "Uncle Harry", Harry Kreider, whose picture I also found on the site, and was a family friend for years, as was Chris Mauriello. I never heard Dad say anything negative about anyone -he'd prefer to say nothing.

Last year, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks produced a special called Shooting War which aired on CBS.  I was very  dismayed the APC wasn't mentioned, although I was delighted that someone finally realized that regular army shot the many photos we associate with WW II, before "embedded" journalists and CNN.   Once in a while, I will read an article that refers to the Kaufmann Studios' history and, with tongue firmly in cheek, tosses a comment about the "VD" and hygiene movies that used to be shot there.  Perhaps, but there were people there who worked at their craft, developed methods still used today and were truly part of the Motion Picture Pioneers of America. The work, art and craftsmanship that APC generated has always been underrated and underappreciated.  Thanks so much for this site.

Growing up, it was different to have a dad who went to a studio instead of an office.  Dad retired when the studio closed - I was in junior high.  He talked about APC, his friends and experiences right up until his last moments on earth. I hope all of you treasure your memories as much as he did.  Thanks so much for this opportunity, Mr. Webmeister, whoever you are!  Most of all, he was a dad who never got off the phone without an I love you or a hug when you had to leave. A great dad, a great friend and a loyal colleague.  Not a bad legacy....

Debbie Lipkowitz
Columbus, Ohio



Joe Lipkowitz as Chief of Camera Branch.

Joe and associates with an unidentified award.

Joe on the main stage.

Steve Gilman provided some identifications for this photo of Joe Lipkowitz "relaxing in the office" at the desk:  "The gentleman to the extreme right is Frank Argandizza.  He was a staff cameraman who I worked with on several occasions.  He liked working at Fort Bliss, Texas.  The gentleman to the extreme left is, of course, Harry Kreider."


Joe and friend.


Joe and crew on location.


Joe and another soldier at pistol training.


Posted May 2003; updated June 11, 2019.


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