Thursday, January 28, 2010

Edison, Motion Pictures and Opera

This is an excerpt of a short article covering the 1913 Motion Picture Exhibitors' League of America convention in New York. The end of the article is taken up by a short interview with Thomas Edison on the future of moving pictures, especially its potential for recording "perfect opera" for the masses, a theme Edison returns to again and again.
Thomas A. Edison last night attended the International Moving Picture Exposition in the Grand Central Palace. Mrs. Edison accompanied him. Mr. Edison, to a reporter of The New York Times, said:

“The educational value of the moving picture is, and will be, enormous. Both the speaking and moving picture will be improved and developed, but it takes time. Through these mediums the great masses of the people can have the advantages of the rich man. There has already been some improvement, and this will increase.

“What will be the future of the moving picture?” Mr. Edison was asked.

“Perfect opera,” answered Mr. Edison. “All delusions will be perfect and probably the actual color will be produced.”

“Will this be your work?”

“Unless some one gets ahead of me.”

“Will the talking pictures displace the silent drama?” was then asked.

“No; both the speaking and silent moving pictures will continue to exist. Both will be improved. Both as they stand are just samples. Now we will go on to perfection. Both have been shown just to exhibit the possibilities.”
“Picture Men At Odds,” New York Times 12 July 1913, 3.