The Moving Picture Show

Excerpts from “The Moving Picture Show” by Asa Steele, The World’s Work, February, 1911

“Yesterday 4,000, 000 Americans visited 13,000 picture-shows, They do so everyday. One man, woman, or child  in twenty-three, every afternoon or evening visit a cinematograph. They pay an average of seven cents each or more than $102,000,000 a year.

Among the illustrations are two photos of motion picture theatres, names and locations are not given.

moving_pe “A few of the 4,000,000 Americans who daily attend the motion-picture shows”

picture show_pe“Empty baby-buggies at the entrance. The picture show is one of the few forms of public entertainment that are always open to mothers  who must look after their own children.”

“The moving-picture shows have driven theatrical performances from 1,400 playhouses and claim a patronage three times as great as that of the other theatres.”

“Some of there ‘picture-show’ houses are mere store-rooms, representing an investment of only $500, but an investment of a quarter or a half-milliuon dollars is not unusual in moving-picture theatres of a big city. About $100,000,000 is invested in the business.”

“Last year $18,000,000 worth of motion-films were sold. These vast sums come back in dimes and nickels.”


Since 1997, legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle has presented a popular series theatre talks and walks. Currently accepting bookings for 2017:  historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.

Del Valle has also joined with Local Expeditions to present a series of walking tours.

He is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.







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