Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Talking Pictures Popular

Two publicity items for Edison's Kinetophone appeared in the 26 April 1913 of Moving Picture World: a full page ad and a short article. Clearly, the strategy for exploiting the Kinetophone had moved its primary target from vaudeville to the regular moving picture theaters. This change in strategy is perhaps one reason William E. Waddell, General Manager of the American Talking Picture Company, the firm responsible for marketing the device, states near the end that he believes the Kinetophone "belongs to the motion picture theater," even though it had to this point been marketed exclusively to vaudeville theaters.
Talking Pictures Popular

"The Edison Kinetophone was installed in six theaters in New York and Chicago on February 17th, and since that date installation has been made in practically every city of size in the United States. It must be admitted that greater headway has already been made for the Kinetophone during this brief time than was ever accomplished by the numerous previous attempts at talking pictures," said General Manager Waddell of the American Talking Picture Company, the other day. "Of course the name of Edison has much to do with this ready acceptance by the various theaters, as they were confident Edison would not market an article that was not practical. That this judgment was good is evidenced by the record-breaking attendance and the enthusiastic comments of the press. Marked improvement is noted week by week in subject and production. A practical knowledge of the requirements of the theaters could be gained only by experience, and the studio staff have learned more in the past few weeks than could have been learned in another year's work in the laboratory.

"The talking pictures may never take the place of the pantomime pictures, but will undoubtedly prove an admirable adjunct. It belongs to the motion picture theater, where it will serve to enliven that otherwise quiet entertainment. It is only a matter of time—and a very short time at that—before we will have colored talking, and perhaps stereoscopic motion pictures."

Source: “Talking Pictures Popular,” Moving Picture World 26 April 1913, 361.
Image Source: Moving Picture World 26 April 1913, 419.