Moe’s Books

a Snapchat Lens to celebrate 60 years of Berkeley’s legendary book store.

Moe’s Books Snapchat Filter by Siciliana Trevino

India has the Taj MahalBerkeley has Moe’s.” 

The San Francisco Chronicle

We’re commemorating Moe’s 60th anniversary with a special Snapchat Filter that lets you and a friend wear black top hats like the one Moe wore during one of his infamous opening night parties.

On October 12th, 1959 Moe and Barbara Moskowitz opened the doors to their first paperback bookstore and newsstand on Shattuck Avenue in Downtown Berkeley. Later drawn to Telegraph Avenue by the radicals and U.C. Berkeley students, Moe introduced Fair Trade into the book selling industry and the four-level bookstore has survived riots, teargas, recessions and the Internet. It even appears in the 1967 classic film The Graduate, as Dustin Hoffman stares out the window of the now shuttered Caffe Mediterraneum.

Today the iconic store is owned and operated by Moe and Barbara’s daughter, Doris Moskowitz, who published Radical Bookselling: A Life of Moe Moskowitz in 2016, and is at the center of Quirkeley’s 2015 short film New Mo’ Cut David Peoples Lost Film of Moe’s Books, along with Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Peoples and his 16mm workprint of the opening night party of Moe’s on Telegraph.

In late 2014 the little film can was recovered at the Berkeley dump and found its way into Doris’ hands thanks to Kevin Laird, a sharp-eyed, self-proclaimed “yeoman of past lives” who was salvaging for Urban Ore at the time. The film won Best Editing at the 2015 Filmstock Film Festival in Arizona, screened at the 2016 Mill Valley Film Festival and is archived at U.C. Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. It’s available for purchase on DVD at the store’s front counter.

Moe’s Books, located at 2476 Telegraph Avenue, is celebrating its anniversary this Saturday, October 12th from 12pm to 6pm with special edition fortune cookies, snacks, prizes and a raffle. Calle Ocho will be playing live Cuban son, danzon, bolero and jazz.

To activate THE SNAPCHAT filter, click here and install Snapchat if you don’t already have it on your mobile device.

The filter will be active in your filter menu for 48 hours and can be reactivated after the 48 hours is up.

On the right is Moe’s Books Snapchat Filter in action with Doris Moskowitz and Johnny Williams.

Get the filter today, take a snap with a friend and share it with #MoesBooks!

Hat’s off to Moe’s for 60 years of radical bookselling in Berkeley!

New Mo Cut David Peoples's lost film of Moe's Books

See New Mo’ Cut at Moe’s Books April 1st, 7:30pm

Saturday April 1st is the 20th anniversary of the death of Moe Moskowitz, the pioneering founder of Moe’s Books, and a true Berkeley original. While we never met him, he drew us into his world through an unlikely appearance at the city dump that made the local news, and inspired us to make a film about a film about a bookstore.

Join us at Moe’s Books at 7:30 pm for a special free screening of our award-winning documentary, New Mo Cut: David Peoples lost film of Moe’s Books followed by David Peoples’s found footage of the opening night party of Moe’s original Telegraph Avenue location, shot in 1965, and discovered at the Berkeley dump in November of 2014.

“I went and looked on the internet and my mind was blown. How could that be? How could my film be on the internet when it’s supposed to be in my garage?” – David Peoples

In New Mo’ Cut serendipity and a love of books bring together an odd lot of locals that include Moe’s daughter, and store owner, Doris Moskowitz, Kevin Laird, an artist, salvage worker and self proclaimed “yeoman of past lives”, Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Peoples (Unforgiven, 12 Monkeys, Blade Runner) and Moe, the radical bookseller dressed in top hat and coat tails, as their silver-screened ring leader.

New Mo’ Cut: David Peoples lost film of Moe’s Books reminds us that beauty and value are in the eyes of the beholder and how happenstance can occur anywhere, at any time, and interconnect lives in deeply meaningful ways.

The Kickstarter funded short won Best Editing at Tempe Arizona’s 2015 Filmstock Film Fest, and was an official selection at the 2016 Mill Valley Film Festival. It screened at BAMPFA as part of the 2nd Annual Area Book Festival’s Auteur, Author: Film and Literature seriescurated by Tom Luddy, co-founder and co-director of the Telluride Film Festival. 

Moe’s Books is located at 2476 Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California. 

New Mo’ Cut at the Bay Area Book Festival Saturday June 4th


The 2nd Annual Bay Area Book Festival is upon us! Saturday, June 4th and Sunday the 5th from 10am to 6pm, Downtown Berkeley will see 300 authors, 230 Exhibitors, 150 panels and thousands of book lovers for the free festival celebrating the written word.

We’re thrilled that New Mo’ Cut will screen in the festival’s first film series at BAMPFA,  Auteur, Author: Film and Literature, curated by Tom Luddy, co-founder and co-director of the Telluride Film Festival. 

New Mo’ Cut will precede the documentary O Amor Natural by Heddy Honigmann (NETHERLANDS/BRAZIL, 1996. 76 mins, In Portuguese with English subtitles)

From the BABF website: “The ten-film series, running concurrent with the festival and screening in BAMPFA’s new theatre, celebrates how the language of cinema can reflect—or reinvent—the forms and substances of fiction and poetry.”

Join us Saturday June 4th at 7:30pm to see New Mo’ Cut on the big screen at BAMPFA. Director Siciliana Trevino and Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Peoples will be in attendance.

We’re honored to be a part of the festival’s inaugural film series and by thrilled the perfect timing! Just one year ago we successfully funded our Kickstarter to make New Mo’ Cut and now it’s screening in the heart of downtown Berkeley at the new University art museum designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro.

Thanks again to our Kickstarter backers who made it all possible.

See you at the movies!!


 BAMPFA is located at 2155 Center St at Oxford

Click here to purchase tickets

  • General Admission $12.00
  •  BAMPFA Member $7.00
  •  Senior Patron (65 & older) $8.00
  •  Cal Student $7.00 / Non Cal Student $8.00
  •  Youth (18 & under) $8.00
  •  Cal Faculty/Staff $8.00
  •  Disabled Patron $8.00


Bookstore Lover’s Happy Hour


Join us this Saturday at Moe’s Books

It’s California Bookstore Day on Saturday May 2nd and Moe’s Books is celebrating with a Bookstore Lover’s Happy Hour from 4pm – 6pm. All cash purchases will be discounted 20%! I’ll be there to answer questions about the film and share the latest news. There will be refreshments and live music by our friend John Schott and the Actual Trio, whose track “Hold On, Sheldon” is featured on David Peoples’ 16mm work print. See the Facebook event page for more details.

Get a free film poster!

We’re also celebrating reaching 54% of our New Mo’ Cut Kickstarter goal! Special thanks and a GIANT MUAH to recent backers Solano Avenue Association, Peter Koch, Chris Joyce and Melanie Mentzel!  
To say thanks, ALL project backers who come to Moe’s on Saturday will get a FREE New Mo’ Cut film poster! 
Just show your Kickstarter confirmation email or ID at the counter. We’ll also have a laptop set up for you to make a contribution during happy hour from 4pm – 6pm, or click here to donate now. The campaign ends Friday May 8th at 3pm.

For more about New Mo’ Cut check out our Kickstarter video:

Help bring New Mo’ Cut to the big screen

This is it! The final stretch and we’re a little over half way there. We have great Berkeley-themed rewards including:
tickets to our wrap party at Longbranch Saloon – the new restaurant from the good people of Paisan, featuring 150 whiskeys, ryes and bourbons, 25 local draft craft beers, 50 craft bottle beers and 40 hand-crafted cocktails! Read more about Longbranch on Berkeleyside.


Receive a 2-year BAM/PFA Charter Membership

Contributors who pledge $150 or more will receive a two-year Charter Membership to the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive opening in downtown Berkeley in 2016. You also get a pair of tickets to the premiere screening at the Elmwood Theater in August (date will be announced on Saturday!)


Feature your local event or business on #Berkeley

Be seen on YouTube and beyond with our fresh and organically made video series hosted by #Lisa. Also included: 2 tickets to Longbranch wrap party Sunday June 28th, 2 tickets to Berkeley film premiere and Moe’s canvas tote. (Berkeley based events and locations only!)


Choose your New Mo’ Cut reward today!

I can’t wait to announce that we’ve met our goal by next Friday May 8th. It can’t happen without you! Please donate what you can today, and get your free New Mo’ Cut film poster at Moe’s Books on Saturday May 2nd.
Thanks for supporting local independent bookstores and film!

Thanks to our New Mo’ Cut event and media sponsors:

New Mo’ Cut Launches at Moe’s Books Tuesday April 7th


 Join film producer and director Siciliana Trevino at Moe’s Books Tuesday April 7th, at 10:30am for the launch of her Kickstarter for New Mo’ Cut: David People’s lost film of Moe’s Books. 

In early February when I started working on New Mo’ Cut: David Peoples lost film of Moe’s Books I didn’t know who shot the found 16mm footage of Moe at the opening night party for his Telegraph Avenue bookstore and I never thought I would launch a crowd-funding campaign. By mid-March the discovery that the filmmaker was Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Peoples’ shocked me as did the realization that crowd sourcing is a dynamic way to build a community around the film, while raising vital funds that will help me bring this unique Berkeley story to the big screen. I couldn’t miss this opportunity to take the New Mo’ Cut to the next level and learn how to navigate the scary all-or-nothing world of Kickstarter.

Now I’m half-way through the interviews and my first crowd sourcing campaign launches tomorrow! Please join me and Doris Moskowitz at Moe’s, Tuesday April 7th at 10:30am for a sparkling cider toast as I push the big green launch button. The campaign runs from April 7th to Friday May 8th, 2015. We hope to see you there. Click here for the Kickstarter preview and be one of the first to see our reward offerings. I look forward to sharing updates and insights on our progress over the next 31 days.


New Mo’ Cut: David People’s lost film of Moe’s Books is a short documentary chronicling the surprising discovery at the Berkeley dump of a 16mm film of Moe Moskowitz at the opening night party for his legendary Telegraph Avenue bookstore in 1965.

Kevin Laird, a recycler working for Urban Ore, found the film canister and managed to deliver it into the hands of Moe’s daughter Doris who didn’t know of its existence or origin. Soon after the film is digitized and put online, Doris discovers the filmmaker is Oscar nominated screenwriter David Peoples. The two-minute, forty-six second workprint is a time capsule of Berkeley and a peek into his Peoples’ documentary film explorations before gaining notoriety as a screenwriter rewriting Blade Runner, earning an Oscar nomination for Unforgiven and co-writing 12 Monkeys with his wife, screenwriter Janet Peoples.

New Mo’ Cut: David Peoples lost film of Moe’s Books recalls one of Telegraph’s larger than life characters, while musing on books, filmmaking and reclaiming history from the waste stream.


  • Doris Moskowitz, Owner, Moe’s Books
  • David Peoples, Screenwriter
  • Janet Peoples, Screenwriter
  • Kevin Laird, Artist
  • Gibbs Chapman, Projectionist, BAM/PFA
  • Alice Schenker, Moe’s Books party guest
  • Dan Knapp, Founder & President, Urban Ore
  • Michael Mascuch, Associate Professor, UC Berkeley