Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Drawing the Color Line

"The practice of segregated audiences in mainstream movie theaters continued until 1965," (Richardson 337).

In 1910 an exhibitor was faced with a task of segregating a theater in Louisiana. He came up with two options:
1. "Place a division in the middle of his place, topped with a curtain on which the picture can be projected from one end and be visible on either side of the screen...screen of the translucent materiaL known as architect tracing cloth," (Gomery, 155-169).
2."On one side of the screen the lettering of the titles on all the reading matter will be reversed, which would be rather annoyibng to those who cannot read backwards. The only solution for this would be to erect a huge mirror at the opposite end of the hall and to have the blacks or whites sit with their backs to the screen or on one side," (Gomery, 155-169)

It's hard to imagine why anyone would put such thought into dividing up a theater for such an unjust reason. The writer of the article did say that people in the North did oppose segregation but views and morals are put on rest when a paying job is offered. There is so much enginuity that is used to divide up people so they don't mix.


At 8:29 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post.

Film content, distribution and exhibition developed in a historical and cultural context of race and class. Racism and segregation shaped the market and profitablity of the film industry and every other type of entertainment as well.


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