American Lightning - The Birth Of Hollywood

American Lightning, is the period of Hollywood from its birth to about 1929. Originally, Movies were made without the benefit of electricity, cameras were hand cranked at three quarters waltz time and sets were built outside and lit with sunlight. Films were short, one or two reels of film (about 10 minutes per reel), and were shown in theaters, called Nickelodeons, that were often converted retail stores with a sheet for a screen. For a nickel, patrons could watch 3 reels of film and join in sing-alongs led by a piano player. Films longer than two reels were called features. Nickelodeons were popular and new films were available each week. The movie going experience changed with The Birth of a Nation, it was 3 hours long and had an admission price of 5 dollars. - AsNotedIn



Y/M/D Description Place
1906/00/00 Realtor Jules Mastbaum opens a his first nickelodeon a temporarily unoccupied store (lost) on the SE corner of 8th and Market, directly across the street from west end of Lits Department Store. Lits Department Store, Philadelphia, PA
1909/04/19 "Lady Helen's Escapade " is released.
1909/12/13 "A Corner in Wheat " is released.
1912/10/03 "From the Manger to the Cross" is released by the Kalem Company
1913/02/13 The Regent Theatre, one of the first large 'all picture house', opens with John Bunny in "Pandora's Box", produced by the Vitagraph Company of America. Regent Theatre, New York City
1913/12/29 Cecil B DeMille and Oscar Apfel begin filming "The Squaw Man" starring Dustin Farnum, Dick Loreno, Red Wing and Winfred Kingston. Lasky-DeMille Barn, LA, Los Angeles
1914/05/08 Utah theatre owner, W W Hodkinson with Jesse Lasky, Adolph Zukor, Hobart Bosworth and others, merge 11 film rental bureaus to create the first nation wide distributor of feature films, Paramount Pictures.
1915/02/08 Directed by D W Griffith, "The Birth of a Nation" premieres at Clune's Auditorium (razed) at 427 W 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA. Historic Downtown,
1916/00/00 "Intolerance" is released.
1916/01/08 The Coliseum Photo Playhouse opens. In addition to the shows, features include a large smoking room for men, large restrooms for women, a children's playroom, caged songbirds, and lavish floral arrangements. Coliseum Theater, Seattle
1919/05/13 "Broken Blossoms" is released
1920/00/00 Contruction begins on Graumann's Chinese Theatre, two giant Heaven Dogs brought from China are original Graumann's Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles
1920/00/00 "Way Down East " is released.
1920/11/27 "The Mark of Zorro" is released.
1921/00/00 "Orphans of the Storm " is released.
1921/00/00 "Manhatta " is released.
1923/00/00 "The Ten Commandments " is released.
1925/12/16 "Lady Windermere's Fan" is released.
1926/03/08 "The Black Pirate" is released.
1927/05/18 Grauman's Chinese Theatre opens with the premiere of Cecil B DeMille's film "The King of Kings". Graumann's Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles
1927/10/06 "The Jazz Singer", the first feature motion picture with a synchronized music score and singing, starring Al Jolson is released Warner Bros Pictures. Executive Office Building, Old Warner Brothers Studio, Los Angeles
1928/00/00 Warner Brothers buys The Stanley Company, a chain of about 250 movie theaters in the northeast Unites States, from Etta Mastbaum for $200 million (c $3 billion today).

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