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May 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 26 May 1994 21:06:36 EDT
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Technically the Consent Decrees are/were still in effect as recently as
the late 'eighties (forty years after they were signed).  The man in
charge of that section retired about that time and there was talk about
abandoning the decrees.  Memory does not tell me more than that.  In
actual effect there is some form of vertical integration in several
firms due to the fact that only the five integrated studios were affected
by the decrees (i.e., Paramount, MGM, Warner Bros, RKO, Twentieth Century
Fox).  Columbia, in particular, was not affected and they were among the
first in recent times to buy theater interests.  Similar loopholes existed
when theater chains purchased production interests.  The decrees applied
only to the five firms that were integrated as of 1949.
What happened is that the theaters were spun-off into separate corporations.
By no particular coincidence, these firms were the corporate ancestors
of the current major exhibiton chains.  Through this back door, the Loew's
theater chain was able to (at least talk about) buying production capacity.
I don't remember how that particular venture turned out
Cal Pryluck, Radio-Television-Film, Temple University, Philadelphia
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