The Jazz Age

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Watching a movie in the 1920s was a cheap and easy way to be transported into a world of glitz and glamour, a world of crime, or a world of magic and mystery. Some of these worlds included aspects of current events, like war, crime, and advances in technology; while others were completely fictional mysteries, romances, and comedies. Heartbreakers, heartthrobs, comedians and beautiful women dominated movie screens across the country in theaters, called Nickelodeons. Nickelodeons were very basic and small theaters which later transformed into opulent and monumental palaces. When sound was introduced into film by Warner Bros. Pictures, “talkies” took top rank over silent films. “Movies were an art form that had universal appeal. Their essence was entertainment; their success, financial and otherwise, was huge” (1920-30, 3/19/11). Films offered an escape from the troubles of everyday life in the 20s, and moviegoers across the country all shared a universal language: watching movies.

Although the film industry first began in New York, Hollywood caught the attention of producers because of its various locations for shooting films and ideal weather for year-round production. The climate and scenery were not the only reasons filmmakers moved to Hollywood. Thomas Edison, along with other individuals, owned patents over the process of filmmaking, and moving to Hollywood was used by producers as a way to avoid lawsuits (Digital History, 2/12/11).

In the beginning of The Roaring Twenties, about fifty million people went to the movies per week, amplifying to ninety million in 1929. These huge numbers are a result of the public’s obsession with the movies’ glamour, sophistication, and sex appeal. Watching movies motivated the viewers to ea...

... middle of paper ... their chores and work: to earn money to see a movie.

The Roaring Twenties, also known as The Jazz Age, was a busy and interesting time in history. Movies set new standards in society, changing pop culture for both the best and the worst. The best aspect of how pop culture was changed by society was the change in how people acted and dressed. One negative aspect of how film affected the society of the 1920s was the increase in membership of the Ku Klux Klan, and some growth in gangs and violence. Children and women developed new freedoms and ways of thinking like the characters in the movies they watched. Women became liberated and realized that there was more to them than cooking and cleaning. Going to the movies was a new incentive for children and teenagers to do their chores. All in all, movies changed pop culture in the 1920s and it will never be the same.

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