Motor City Movie Culture, 1916-1925

Motor City Movie Culture, 1916-1925

Richard Abel
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 03/01/2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-04646-8
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Motor City Movies, 1916–1925 is a broad textured look at Hollywood coming of age in a city with a burgeoning population and complex demographics. Richard Abel investigates the role of local Detroit organizations in producing, distributing, exhibiting, and publicizing films in an effort to make moviegoing part of everyday life. Tapping a wealth of primary source material—from newspapers, spatiotemporal maps, and city directories to rare trade journals, theater programs, and local newsreels—Abel shows how entrepreneurs worked to lure moviegoers from Detroit’s diverse ethnic neighborhoods into the theaters. Covering topics such as distribution, programming practices, nonfiction film, and movie coverage in local newspapers, with entr’actes that dive deeper into the roles of key individuals and organizations, this book examines how efforts in regional metropolitan cities like Detroit worked alongside California studios and New York head offices to bolster a mass culture of moviegoing in the United States.

Author Bio

Richard Abel is Professor Emeritus of International Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Michigan. He is author of Americanizing the Movies and "Movie-Mad" Audiences, 1910–1914, and Menus for Movieland: Newspapers and the Emergence of American Film Culture, 1913–1916, and editor of the Encyclopedia of Early Cinema, (with Giorgio Bertellini and Rob King) Early Cinema and the "National," and (with Rick Altman) The Sounds of Early Cinema.

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Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations


Entr’Acte 1: The Michigan Film Review

1. Mapping Circulation in Detroit’s Movie Market

Entr’Acte 2: Detroit Area Picture Theaters

Entr’Acte 3: John H. Kunsky and George W. Trendle

2. Movies, Live Acts, and the Theatrical Experience: Programming Practices in the Motor City

Entr’Acte 4: Detroit-Made Films

Entr’Acte 5: The Metropolitan Film Company

3. "Detroit-Made" Newsreels and Other Short Nonfiction Films

Entr’Acte 6: Star Gazing

4. Motor City Newspapers, Menus for Movie Fans