Volume I: Narrative History


Chapter 8: 1915 Industry News

The Mutual program release schedule was as follows in early October: Note


Sunday: Mutual, Reliance, Thanhouser

Monday: American, Falstaff, Novelty

Tuesday: Beauty, Gaumont, Thanhouser

Wednesday: Centaur, Mutual

Thursday: Centaur, Falstaff, Mutual Weekly, Mutual Masterpicture Note

Friday: American, Cub, Eclair;

Saturday: Beauty, Mustang.


Around the same time Thanhouser advised exchanges and exhibitors that posters for its various films were available in the following sizes. Falstaff: one sheet; Thanhouser one-reel pictures: one sheet; Thanhouser multiple-reel productions: one, three, and six sheets. Note

Among new Thanhouser faces publicized in October were Gladys Hulette and Louise Emerald Bates. Hulette would go on to be starred in numerous multiple-reel films, while Bates was to hit her stride in one-reel Falstaff comedies. Audrey Munson, well-known as a model for sculptors and as the Panama-Pacific Girl, was signed to appear in a Thanhouser release.

On October 16, 1915 The Moving Picture World reported that the government in a 20-page decision ordered the dissolution of the Motion Picture Patents Company. The government claimed that the defendants had organized and were cooperating in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The litigation began August 16, 1912 when the government filed suit against the Motion Picture Patents Company, the General Film Company, Biograph, Vitagraph, Lubin, Edison, Essanay, Selig, Méliès, Kalem, Armat, Pathé, and others. The report advised that people who were aggrieved could sue and recover triple damages for any injury suffered from the monopoly, including numerous exhibitors who paid a royalty of $2 a week on motion picture projection machines.

How soon do trade magazine reporters forget! The October 16, 1915 issue of The Moving Picture World printed an article about Maude Fealy, the former highly-publicized Thanhouser film star, who in autumn 1915 was associated with Knickerbocker Star Features and was appearing in The Girl From Tim's Place. The trade journal advised its readers: "Miss Fealy is a well-known figure on the legitimate stage, and The Girl from Tim's Place marks her initial appearance before the moving picture public."

In its October 16th issue The New York Dramatic Mirror carried information concerning a new company which would be important in the careers of several former Thanhouserites. The Arrow Film Corporation, 71 West 23rd Street, New York City, had as its president W.E. Shallenberger, who had just enlisted Howell Hansel, director of Thanhouser's The Million Dollar Mystery serial, as director and chief of all productions. Releases were to be made through the Pathé Exchange. Hansel's assistant was A.F. Mayo. The Standard Studio in Yonkers had been leased for film making, the account related, and production was expected to begin in two weeks. Albert S. LeVino was secretary and treasurer of the firm.

The Moving Picture World, October 30a, Note 1915, gave more news: "Within the next fortnight the executive offices of the Arrow Film Corporation will be moved to the Yonkers plant at 120 School Street. Mr. Shallenberger, because of his extensive motion picture interests, will maintain an office for himself downtown, but the Arrow office and studio work will be done in Yonkers after November 8."

In The Moving Picture World Note columnist W. Stephen Bush, quoting John H. Kunsky, lamented the fact that the word movie was being used by the public to describe silent dramas on the screen. The first time Bush had encountered the term was in the autumn of 1908 in Philadelphia. He said that it was futile to try to change the public, for: "I do not know of a single case in where a word of one syllable was ever replaced in public use by a word of more than one syllable." Apparently Bush thought movie was a one-syllable word! He went on to say that films was a better word, and also mentioned photoplay, but rejected the latter as having three syllables. "We simply must get rid of movies. That word I would like to see sent back to the gutter, whence it came."


Copyright © 1995 Q. David Bowers. All Rights Reserved.