Entertainment Industry: American Vaudeville as Seen by Its Contemporaries

1362 Words6 Pages
Vaudeville, Act Two: Nickelodeons With the entertainment business already booming with traveling circuses, wild west shows, burlesque, and vaudeville, just to name a few, it seemed like Americans already had an abundant amount to choose from. However, going into the 20th century, with the invention of early motion picture cameras, such as Thomas Edison's kinetograph, it seemed like only the beginning for the entertainment industry; new means of entertainment were bound to be founded. Americans wanted cheap and easily available entertainment.1 They wanted something big, as evident in the quick decline in the popularity of the kinetoscope, a novelty one-man motion picture viewer also invented by Edison.2 Americans seem to prefer sitting and watching the show with everyone else. Vaudeville, an inexpensive variety show comprised of a variety of acts, was what Americans seem to have been looking for. However, as technologies improve, people become interested by the next big thing, creating a path for nickelodeons, which showed early films. Nickelodeon theaters continued to build upon the vaudeville model to create even more convenience for film distribution and exhibition, resulting in attracting consumers to nickelodeons rather than vaudeville theaters and the prominence of the film industry. Vaudeville first introduced cinema to the general working class, thus allowing cinema to 1 Charles W. Stein, American Vaudeville as Seen by Its Contemporaries (New York: Knopf, 1984) 3-4. 2 Charles Musser, Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company (Berkeley: U of California, 1991) 56. explode in popularity and the introduction of theaters specifically for film. Firstly, amid the circuses, the wild... ... middle of paper ... ...nt.html>. "Guide to Motion Picture Catalogs - The Edison Papers." Guide to Motion Picture Catalogs - The Edison Papers. N.p., 20 Feb. 2012. Web. 19 Apr. 2014. . Kraut, Alan M. The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, 1880-1921. Arlington Heights, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1982. Print. Musser, Charles. Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company. Berkeley: U of California, 1991. Print. Sandler, Kevin S. Reading the Rabbit: Explorations in Warner Bros. Animation. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1998. Print. Stein, Charles W. American Vaudeville as Seen by Its Contemporaries. New York: Knopf, 1984. Print. "Vaudeville Theater Shows (1900′s)." Mortal Journey. N.p., Mar. 2011. Web. 19 Apr. 2014. .

More about Entertainment Industry: American Vaudeville as Seen by Its Contemporaries

Open Document