At the start of World War II, the United States Army bought Paramount's motion picture studio at 35th Avenue and 35th Street in Astoria, Long Island City, Queens, New York, taking over in February 1942.  The studio became the Signal Corps Photographic Center, later Army Pictorial Center, home to filmmakers and still photographers who covered the war and who produced countless training films.  This is the story of the people who served there.


Help Requested

Personnel Roster




APC on the Web

After APC

Other Photo Units






European Street 



The 'T" System for Measuring Light Transmission


PFC Lawrence F. Brunswick developed the "T" system of measuring lens light transmission (as compared to the then-standard “F” system), while assigned to the Signal Corps Photographic Center research laboratory in 1943-1944, wrote his future wife, Evelind Brunswick


"His supervisor took credit for the development.  However, an article was printed in the post newspaper correctly crediting Larry for the discovery."


Studio Electrical Modernization



Memories from Alumni News

"It simply took me back, 'way back, and reminded me of much of my love for moving pictures. I loved every single iota of it."

"Alumni News" reported memories of APC personnel.  It brings back names, experiences and events.

#50 October 1997 - #51 February 1998

“This brought back memories about the time a new projector repair man was discussing nitrate film. He grabbed a 35mm nitrate reel, tore off several strips; he lit 3 of them, and as they burned, he threw them on the sidewalk, and the rain covered them – but they continued burning! The point he had been making, ‘nitrate film supplies its own oxygen even underwater,’ was no longer lost on the group."


Help Page:

Bed Check in France brings some memories from a retired Specialist 7.


Contributing to Film History

Hall of Heroes

Richard A. Jones recalls working on The Big Picture episode featuring the Medal of Honor with narrator John Daly.


Cameraman Frank H. Labram Remembered

Colorful Memories

In Focus: A Trove of APC History

A Foxhold on Wheels

Other Photo Units: 497th Signal Company

Ron Rozewski

More Footage of Camp Feldafing?

Robert M. Rosenthal

Another APC Alumnus Found!

After APC

Army Demonstrates Drones for Reconnaisance

James Boultinghouse

D'Addario Photos

A Daughter's Memories

Edward Boykin on Mobile Television

Film industry in WWII 

More about Norton S. Parker

The Big Picture Catalog 

Cameras for atomic tests



(Updated September 14, 2020..)


Main Entrance

The main entrance to APC at night
was photographed by Bill Ricks,
who supplied a few of his color slides from that era.




Yes, we still need your help to answer the questions about SCPC/APC and films made there. 

For example, do you recognize these 1950s social events -- boating and Halloween -- with Jack and Phyllis Ott?

Big Picture title

The Big Picture
is available on DVD and Online!

The National Archives and Records Administration has made individual episodes of "The Big Picture" available via Amazon.  Episode DVDs can also be copied for free by visitors to NARA's College Park, Maryland, facility.  And many complete episodes and clips have been posted on YouTube.