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This article examines the depiction of cinemas and film culture in mainstream literary periodicals between 1910 and 1920. It focuses on the role played by illustrated magazines (Quiver, the Pall Mall Magazine and the Strand) in legitimizing film as an art form and countering accusations of immorality from anti-cinema activists. It also looks at the role played by early cinema fiction within this discourse. The final section explores the changes to authorship wrought by the globalization of cinema and the periodical press during and immediately after the First World War.