Before Video: A History of the Non-Theatrical Film

By Anthony Slide | Go to book overview

EIGHT
Decades of Progress and Prosperity

Non-theatrical film production and distribution prospered and grew in the 1950s and 1960s; the industry was totally oblivious to what the introduction of the first practical videotape recorder by Ampex in 1956 was to mean to the medium within a few short years. For the 1950s at least, videotape had relevance only to the television industry, and the television industry was pertinent to the non-theatrical film industry only as a further outlet for its productions.

Between 1949 and 1951 the number of non-theatrical film libraries increased from 897 to 2,002, with the largest number (1,351) handling educational films and the smallest (633) distributing religious-oriented productions. The third largest group of libraries (134) was located in Chicago and its environs; New York came second with 196 libraries; and California led the field with 217. By 1953, the number of libraries had increased to 2,660, again with the largest groups located in California and New York. Of these libraries, 503 were operated by schools or by public school systems.

The 1950s were dominated by two successful efforts to create festival showplaces for non-theatrical films. The idea for a non-theatrical film festival was not new. From October 11 to November 29, 1947, the Chicago Film Council held the First Films of the World Festival, described as "a giant preview of 16mm films." The Cleveland Film Council was organized in the fall of 1947 by a group of citizens interested in 16mm

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Before Video: A History of the Non-Theatrical Film
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions to the Study of Mass Media and Communications ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Notes xii
  • One Origins 1
  • Notes 16
  • Two Chicago-- the Non-Theatrical Film Capital of the World 19
  • Notes 31
  • Three the Eastman Kodak Connection 33
  • Notes 43
  • Four Specialization 45
  • Five Film in Education and Religion 59
  • Notes 73
  • Six the Chronicles of America 75
  • Notes 87
  • Seven the 1930s and 1940s 89
  • Notes 105
  • Eight Decades of Progress and Prosperity 107
  • Notes 120
  • Nine the Waning Years 123
  • Notes 136
  • Appendix A: Major Non- Theatrical Distributors of the 1920s 137
  • Appendix B: Major Non-Theatrical 16mm Distributors of the 1930s 141
  • Appendix C: Major Non-Theatrical 16mm Distributors of the 1940s 145
  • Appendix D: Useful Non-Theatrical Addresses 151
  • Selected Bibliography 155
  • Index 161
  • About the Author 172
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