Coloured footage of Batavia/Jakarta from before World War II is rare, very rare. American moviegoers could experience the world in colour in the late 1930s, thanks to James Anthony FitzPatrick (1894-1980) who travelled the world for his series “The Voice of the Globe”. Using his Technicolor camera he captured picturesque sites and the few-minute long narratives were shown in the cinema just before the main movie.
His simple, straightforward looks at what was best and most interesting in a location allowed a generation of moviegoers to experience the world from their hometown moviehouses. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer distributed the series under the umbrella title “FitzPatrick Traveltalks.” The first colour film was shot in 1934 and called “Holland in Tulip Time”. FitzPatrick visited Java with his Technicolor camera twice: in 1937 and 1939. The 1939 footage shows Batavia/Jakarta with the Sunda Kelapa harbour, Pasar Ikan, the Amsterdam Gate and Molenvliet. There is also a short section at the end where he visits Buitenzorg/Bogor.