The Cinema Century – July 26, 1919

One century ago this week the July 26, 1919 edition of “Exhibitors Herald” reported that the recently-minted Realart Pictures had announced a slate of stars to be featured in its releases. What the article does not mention is that Realart was in fact a subsidiary of Famous Players-Lasky-Paramount. The precedent for this had been set …

The Cinema Century – May 24, 1919

One century ago this week an ad appeared in the industry trade papers announcing the distribution policy of the recently formed United Artists: The “open booking” policy referenced in the ad represented a sharp break with the “block booking” policy pioneered by Adolph Zukor at Paramount. The block booking paradigm was designed to leverage the …

The Cinema Century — February 23, 1918

Believe it or not, there was a time when movie producers deliberately refrained from publicizing the names of the actors who appeared in their films. Their reasoning was that there would inevitably be some actors whose work pleased the moviegoing public more than others. If the public knew their names, they could ask for movies …