“Perhaps everyone has forgotten just how pictures are shown to the public”

Continuous performance and double billing in the 1930s

Authored by: Richard Maltby

The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138955844
eBook ISBN: 9781315666051
Adobe ISBN:


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In April 1934, in an editorial article in the Motion Picture Herald, its publisher Martin Quigley denounced “a vastly destructive practice which has long been tolerated” in the motion picture industry. Quigley was at the time embroiled in negotiations between the major companies and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church over the stage management of the Legion of Decency’s public campaign against indecency in the movies, but that issue was not his immediate concern. Instead, the destructive practice of which he complained was

the arrangement under which a great part of all theatre audiences are allowed—or compelled—to see pictures not from the start but from some medium point on to the end and then, after viewing intervening material, are returned to observe the opening scenes.

(Quigley, 1934)

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