The public can view segments of 14 historic airship films – featuring the giant USS. Akron and the USS. Macon airships -- at a free screening at 2 p.m. Friday at UA’s Polsky Building in downtown Akron.

The films – which will be shown in Room 567 -- include rare footage of the construction, christening and operation of rigid airships, USS Akron and USS Macon. Built as flying aircrafts for the U.S. Navy by Goodyear-Zeppelin in Akron, the ships were 785 feet long. That's three times longer than the current Goodyear airships. 

The USS Akron was lost in a weather-related accident off the New Jersey coast in 1933. Seventy-three of the 76 crew members were killed. The Macon, built and launched after the Akron, crashed off the coast of Point Sur, Calif., in 1935.

The films are part of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. collection housed in UA’s Archival Services

Seating is limited for this free event, and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Light refreshments will be served. The Polsky Building is at 225 S. High St.

The films are part of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. records in UA’s Archival Services. They were recently transferred from their original nitrate stock — a combustible form —to safety film and digitized, thanks to a $37,310 grant from the Nation Film Preservation Foundation and an $8,000 donation from Goodyear.