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  • The Distribution, Exhibition and Production of the Nickelodeon Theatres


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ID number:264320
Published: 25.05.2003.
Language: English
Level: Secondary school
Literature: n/a
References: Not used

Although short-lived, the nickelodeon theatre was a pioneer movie house. It's reign began in 1905 and lasted a mere nine years ending in 1914. During these years it provided the movies with its first permanent home, established a durable pattern for nationwide distribution, and most importantly built for the motion picture an audience that would continue to support it for another forty years. After the decline of the nickelodeon it still survived in popular legend as a monument to movies in their age of innocence (Merritt, 1976 p59)
The nickelodeon was a small, uncomfortable makeshift theater. It was commonly a converted dance hall, restaurant, pawnshop, or cigar store made over to look like a vaudeville emporium. Outside the theatres large vivid posters were pasted into the theater windows, which announced the playbill for the day. For ten cents - nickelodeons were seldom a nickel - the early moviegoer went inside and viewed an assortment of brief adventure, comedy, or fantasy films that lasted approximately an hour. The programs were enhanced by including sing-alongs; inexpensive vaudeville acts and illustrated lectures. The show routinely began with a song, usually one of the popular ballads of the day (e.g. "Sunbonnet Sue" or "Bicycle Built for Two"), or a patriotic anthem.…

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