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Additional resources for Hollywood and the Box Office, 1895–1986
35 But when General Film insisted on buying up the distribution side of the organisation he had built up, he refused. With his licence cancelled and his film supply threatened, he did two things. He The Motion Picture Patents Company 25 commenced film production as an independent in defiance of the Trust; and he instituted a lawsuit against it, alleging violation of the anti-trust provisions of the Sherman Act. The hearing of this case and the Trust's appeal against the verdict did not come to a conclusion until 1918; but Fox won, and the legal death of the Patents Company ensued.
This was part of a strategy designed to win the middle-class audience. Trade journals encouraged exhibitors to cater for the comfort of patrons, and to provide such things as iced water, comfortable chairs and proper ventilation. 17 The Trust also attempted to supply better prints of its films; and to advertise screenings and encourage reviews in the press, which now for the first time was willing to accept both kinds of placement for movies. And the strategy had consequences for film production as the Trust recognised that it stood to win the approval of the middle-class audience by showing a willingness to co-operate with an imposition that had at first seemed unwelcome, namely the censorship of movies.
Very few of the earlier production and distribution companies made the transition to the new era (with only Vitagraph, Universal, and Fox's companies continuing to thrive). And it confirmed the establishment of Hollywood as the single most important site of production. 5 Architecture of the Feature Film, 1915-25 In the period from 1908 to 1914 a number of new motion picture theatres were designed in imitation of fashionable public buildings. Traditionally such designs were based, as May says, on the classical architecture of Greece and Rome.