There's another interesting side to the Paramount decision--three independent
theater circuits, not owned by the studios, were also named in the antitrust
suit (Griffith, Schine, and Crescent).
I was lucky enough to know someone who lived next-door to former employees of
the Griffith circuit and I gained access to unpublished documents which later
became the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Unlike the studios,
the court praised the Griffith Brothers for their good business sense and
this chain was not required to divest themselves of any theaters, although
when the suit was first prosecuted Griffith had 243 theaters in 93 towns and
by 1948 had 331 in 101 towns (primarily in OK)
Oklahoma State University is blessed as a federal repository, receiving all
government documents, which aided me in my research (see Federal Supplements
Vol 68 (1947) and Vol 94 (1951) for a discussion of these cases.
My research has given me one more reason why I try to promote (in a small
way) research into local film exhibition and to encourage theater
preservation before the older moviehouses are all torn down for parking lots
or pizza parlors.
If others have similar interests and projects to present, please contact me
ASAP as I am the area chair for Film Exhibition and Theater Preservation for
the SW/Texas Popular Culture Association conference (see the website at
http://www.swtexaspca.org). Deadline Dec. 31 (oops) but the CFP appeared
Contact me and we will try to get you in/on the program. We have panelists
who have been doing work on both urban and suburban theaters. This is an
exciting area to research, explore, and/or attend!
Local film exhibition is such a fertile field for study and the movies were
so very important to small towns as well as big cities. Please join me in
Oklahoma State University
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Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: http://www.tcf.ua.edu