Essay On The Role Of Entertainment In The 1920s

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Do you ever wonder where all the noise behind the Roaring 20s came from? Entertainment was a huge part of the 1920s and played a crucial role in the society’s recovery from World War 1 and the reshaping of a more modern lifestyle. Some of the different types of entertainment in the 1920s were sports, movies, literature, dancing, and music. As a whole, many would say that the Jazz Age or Babe Ruth had the most influence on American entertainment today, but I believe that the evolvement in the 1920s is a major reason why movies are currently one of the top types of entertainment in the United States.
Films were a vital part of the entertainment in the 1920s, ranking as the decade with the greatest film output in the history of the United States …show more content…

The studio system within the film industry consisted of long term contracts for actors which gave more control to studios and less control to directors. Over time, Warner Bro’s, Famous Players, RKO Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Fox Film Corporation became known as “The Big Five”. These film studios were so successful because of vertical integration, which meant combining stages of production, distribution, and exhibition under one company instead of several companies. Each of these studios also owned smaller, local theaters. Together, they were responsible for forty-five percent of film-rental revenue. Several others; Universal Pictures, United Artists, and Columbia Pictures, nicknamed “The Little Three”, added additional movie sales, but were not as successful because they lacked one of the three stages of the vertical integration.
In order to keep up with the increasing production of films, film studios had to increase the amount of movie theaters. Tons of theaters were built. Most of them were so grand that they acquired the nickname, “picture palaces.” In the 1920s, more than twenty thousand movie houses were operating, most of which were designed to hold an orchestra and around three thousand people. In 1927, Roxy Theater, the largest theater in the world opened at a cost of ten million dollars. Going to the movies was such a thrilling experience that most Americans went to a least one movie a week. …show more content…

The genres ranged from melodramas to horror to romance to crime and war to comedy to mystery. A couple of the more popular dramas were Metropolis, Greed, and Pandora’s Box. Some of the different styles of films that came about during the 1920s were cartoons, musicals, and documentaries. Walt Disney produced their first cartoon in 1927 and Mickey Mouse debuted in Plane Crazy a year later. Walt Disney also produced Steamboat Willie, the first synchronized sound cartoon. The first documentary, “Nanook of the Noah,” was produced in 1922. Meanwhile, the 1920s were the prime years for Broadway. Over fifty new musicals opened each year, including Sally by Jerome Kern and No, No, Nanette by Vincent Youmans. (Scott)
However, the rise in popularity of films in the 1920s would not have been possible without the actors. Some of the most famous actors at the time, and still known today, include Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Louise Brooks. Charlie Chaplin was known for his great comedy during the silent movie era, along with his talent in directing and composing. His talent, on and off the camera, was seen in Modern Times, The Kid, and The Great Dictator. Another one of his movies, Gold Rush, received an Oscar for Best Sound

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