Abstract

Smileage was a funding scheme designed to support the Commission on Training Camp Activities’ theater project during World War I. The public purchased coupon books that soldiers redeemed at the government Liberty Theatres, which purported to provide “morally uplifting” and “wholesome” live entertainment primarily, but later included Hollywood motion pictures. This article situates the Smileage campaign in the larger historical context during which the film industry negotiated its inclusion in war mobilization and its value to cultural policy. The theater project and camp recreation program illustrate the Wilson administration’s ambiguous and uneven stance toward the commercial film industry.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-3905
Print ISSN
0892-2160
Pages
pp. 1-49
Launched on MUSE
2014-04-12
Open Access
No
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