The Great Audience

The Great Audience

The Great Audience

The Great Audience

Excerpt

" There exists today no means of influencing the masses more potent than the cinema ."

Pius XI: Encyclical Vigilante Cura (1936)

"For us the film is the most important of the arts ."

Lenin (1920)

"The businessman desires to think of little or nothing [at the movies] ."

Congressman Clare E. Hoffman (1948)

Except for the makers of baby foods, no industry in the United States has been so indifferent to the steady falling away of its customers as the movies have been. The make-up of the movie audience has been known for a long time; during the past five years statistical research, paid for by the studios, has provided exact figures proving that in one generation the movies have lost two-thirds of their customers and have survived only because a satisfactory birth rate provides new patrons for the seats left empty when people arrive at the years of discretion and stop going to the movies. This information has been received with a nonchalance that ought to make a banker's blood run cold; it has had virtually no effect on the methods of making or distributing pictures, no effect on the quality of the product, which, like baby food, comes in cans. The parallel with strained foods breaks down in one detail: the foods would be worthless if the consumer didn't outgrow them, and the manufacturer virtually guarantees that they will become unnecessary in time and give . . .

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