Abstract

Prior scholarship on nontheatrical film exhibition in the 1910s has suggested that such efforts were fledgling, disorganized, and ultimately unsuccessful. In this article, I propose a different narrative, namely that Progressive-Era reformers working in school-based community centers were able to establish viable nontheatrical spaces for cinema before the First World War, despite legal, financial, and logistical challenges. Their efforts only faltered when these spaces, and the networks that supported them, were repurposed for wartime use in 1917. After the war, exhibitor organizations took a strong stance against loaning reels to community groups, and reformers redoubled their efforts to change the commercial cinema rather than supporting an alternative.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-3905
Print ISSN
0892-2160
Pages
pp. 1-31
Launched on MUSE
2018-02-09
Open Access
No
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