Past and Future (1928)


Looking at 1927 in retrospect we find our opinions running to diverse reactions. Mergers—expansions—millions in new investments—the big fells getting bigger—turmoil—economy—smaller profits—the little fellows growing less important. The industry as a whole enjoyed a year of mild success. Nineteen hundred and twenty-eight, from present indications, will be far better. Many sincere economies have been effected in all branches. More are to follow. The industry is cleaning house for the long pull. All told its prospects were never brighter.

The presentation orgy has about reached its limit. In the unusual houses like the Roxy, Paramount, Grauman’s Egyptian and the Chicago presentations will continue to play their important part. In the small houses they must be abolished. Sound economics demands it.

Production will continue on its highly competitive way. Excessive and extravagant expenditures are being gradually curtailed. Both players and companies are receiving better treatment and more co-operation from each other. The importation of foreign stars and directors continues. At present there is a lack of story material. New writers are being constantly developed. Again the industry is returning to the thought that after all “The Picture Is the Thing.”

We look for no radical change in distribution methods in 1928. Every one seems to agree that the present method is uneconomic and unsound but like the weather every one talks of it but nobody ever does anything about it. Percentage booking as a general practice may be the answer. In time this may come but not in 1928. The independent producer and distributor is plugging along on his merry way. For him 1927 was a fairly successful year. Nineteen hundred and twenty-eight should be even better.

No period in the thirty years of motion picture industry was as full of interesting events as the past year. Highlights were many. Among those that might be mentioned were the Trade Practice Conference which attracted nation-wide attention, the purchase of First National by Stanley and West Coast, the opening of the Roxy in New York which occasioned the biggest special edition of the year published by The Film Daily and the subsequent purchase of the theater by William Fox, the trend in foreign countries to limit imports of American films, the introduction of the Brookhart bill aimed to abolish block booking and the course of motion picture lectures at Harvard, sponsored by Joseph P. Kennedy. The year was marked by the passing of Marcus Loew, Sam Warner and June Mathis.

The month of December, 1927, saw the birth of the Film Daily Relief Fund. It has the enthusiastic support of the entire industry. Much good has already been accomplished. Its permanency is assured. Despite the present feeling of unrest the motion picture industry is about to embark upon its greatest years of prosperity. Some readjustments are still to be made. They are minor compared to the whole. The motion picture is and will continue to be the greatest force for clean, wholesome amusement in the world.

Artifact Type Books
Author Jack Alicoate
Publication The Film Daily Year Book 1928
Place New York, NY
Publisher The Film Daily
Publication Date 1927
Page(s) C
Archive The Internet Archive
Read In Context

Jack Alicoate, “Past and Future (1928),” in The Film Daily Year Book 1928, (New York, NY: The Film Daily, 1927).

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