PARAMOUNT had won its supremacy at a most favorable moment. The war had paralyzed all but the Italian and the American producers. The American firms soon established distributing centers in Paris which assured an outlet for their films, despite the protests of the French producers. Actually, opposition to American films did not reach serious proportions until 1919, and during the two preceding years the Americans, with the valuable help of M. Jacques Haik, had entrenched themselves firmly.
In the United States the native films were prospering greatly. The Italian films had attracted a whole new audience of former theatergoers, who were willing to pay good prices to see films which were well presented and well advertised. The day of the nickelodeon was over, and the luxurious temples now being raised to the seventh art made it possible to charge much higher prices of admission. It was estimated that Paramount could make a net profit of thirty-five thousand dollars on an average film, putting out one film a week.
Paramount was turning out every kind of movie -- films copied from the Italian spectacles, films like the French films d'art, films based on stage plays, short comedies, travel films both in black and white and in color, music-hall turns and war films--it made them all. American films now began to vie with French films in expressing their hatred of German barbarism and their enthusiasm for the preservation of civilization. It is even said that similar films of theirs served in Germany to bolster up hatred of France, the hereditary enemy, and enthusiasm for the preservation of German civilization.
Meanwhile the American film was developing rapidly, but largely outside of Paramount, just as earlier it had developed out-____________________