preneur Raymond Rohauer from Macmillan-Audio-Brandon. Through various questionable methods, Rohauer had obtained "rights" to a variety of films generally considered to be in the public domain, including features of Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks, Harry Langdon, D. W. Griffith, and Mack Sennett. In the late 1980s, Twyman's owner Alan Twyman disposed of his interest in the company and distributed the Raymond Rohauer titles on a personal basis, using the company name "Alan Twyman Presents" until his death in 1990.
One manner in which public domain 16mm rental houses could win an advantage over competitors was by offering the highest quality prints detailed in well-produced, informative catalogs. The company that best illustrates this method is Radim/Film Images, founded in Chicago in the 1970s by a former Brandon Films employee, Art Brown.
Many 16mm rental houses specialized in foreign language and/or quality English-language titles. The best known of this group, all with offices in New York, were Almi Cinema, Corinth Films, New Line Cinema, and New Yorker Films. Independent and avant-garde filmmakers, such as Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, and Stan Vanderbeek, distributed their productions through Canyon Cinema Cooperative in San Francisco and Film-Makers Cooperative in New York. There was some limited highly specialized distribution, with Arthur Cantor, Inc., in New York distributing films on the arts, music, and theatre and Warren Miller in Southern California offering ski movies for rental and sale. Miller cleverly promoted his self-produced films with the suggestion that purchasers splice them into their own amateur efforts, to "fool your friends" and "liven up your home movies."
All of the 16mm rental libraries discussed in this chapter flourished in the 1970s and 1980s, evidence of what appeared to be an ever-growing interest in the non-theatrical film. Within one decade only three--Films Inc., the Museum of Modern Art, and Swank--were still operational. As far as most people with an interest in the non-theatrical film were concerned, they were largely irrelevant.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Before Video:A History of the Non-Theatrical Film. Contributors: Anthony Slide - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1992. Page number: 120.
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