Saturday, October 16, 2010

Photoplays, picture shows, silent dramas and movies.

Mary Pickford. From Commons WIkipedia.

This is also from Maclean's Review of Reviews 1911. No attribution.

Well, you learn something new everyday. I knew there was a famous magazine PHOTOPLAY, but I never realized that the term "photoplay" meant movie. As I've written before, they called the movies motion pictures or 5 and 10 cent picture shows in 1910, but I have a letter written by Edith in 1917 that says she is going to the movies and she has the movies in quotations "movies" which means it is a new term, at least to her.
I also have posted on my website, a bit from the 1910 New York Dramatic Mirror that claims that the motion picture is cutting into the theatre business, especially when it comes to the cheap seats, and so is another form of 1910 entertainment, automobile rides!!

"The moving picture show has come to stay. “The progress of the ‘silent drama’ has been on an unparalleled scale. “In fact,” writes Robert Grau in the Moving Picture Show and the Living Drama’ in the American Review of Reviews “some of the developments in this field in the last few months have utterly amazed the prominent theatrical managers and producers. As recently as two years ago, these gentlemen were inclined to regard the motion picture as a temporary fad; but when such offerings came as the Kinemacolor pictures of the English Coronation festivities, and it was observed that the public willingly paid regular theatre prices to see the wondrous spectacle, they marvelled. ( Editor: I wrote about this in a previous blog...Long Hot SUMMER 1911, I think)

One of the foremost of these, William Brady, thus expressed himself: “If the manufacturer of a photo-play can afford to spend 100,000 dollars for a single offering on screen, he has us beat many a mile, for that is just twice as much as it cost to produce Ben Hur, a play that has run 10 years.” ...In Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport, three cities of the first grade, theatrically-speaking, the one theatre in each still remaining to the theatrical syndicate is no longer available to travelling companies. All three, on the same date, January 29, 1812, reverted to William Fox, the moving picture magnate.

The amazing thing about the motion picture industry, is that even the most expensive productions are seen for only one day in the 10 thousand or more picture theatres. The only exception to the rule being when the pictures are exhibited in Vaudeville Theatres, where they are shown for at least a week or longer. "