Thursday, April 03, 2008

Early movie business (1): audience

“Movies represented ‘the most spectacular single feature of the amusement situation in recent years’, Motion pictures inhabited the physical and psychic space of the urban street life.”—Early Motion Pictures

Beginning in the late 1890s, film was becoming the new popular entertainment in cities and towns across the United States. According to Czitrom, there was a rapid growth in audience between 1905 and 1918.

Makeshift theaters sprung up all over the country. Business owners converted old shops or restaurants into exhibition halls. Patrons sat at tables and watched "flickers" projected onto a screen of muslin or bed sheets while a single musician played frenzied interludes, known as "the Russian hurries," on piano or violin.

The first movie houses were dubbed "nickelodeons," combining the price of admission with the Greek word for theater. By 1908, there were nearly 8,000 nickelodeon theaters in the U.S. and in two years the number had grown to 10,000. Flashing marquees, glossy posters, noisy phonographs, and player pianos made a great commotion outside the establishments, sparking people's curiosity about this new, dazzling medium.


At 8:22 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

Good material but use quotation marks when quoting and cite your sources. Otherwise it is plagiarism.


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