American Showman: Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel and the Birth of by Ross Melnick

By Ross Melnick

Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel (1882–1936) outfitted an influential and prolific occupation as movie exhibitor, degree manufacturer, radio broadcaster, musical arranger, theater supervisor, warfare propagandist, and foreign superstar. He helped engineer the mixing of movie, tune, and concert in silent movie exhibition; scored early Fox Movietone movies resembling dawn (1927); pioneered the convergence of movie, broadcasting, and song publishing and recording within the Nineteen Twenties; and helped video clips and moviegoing turn into the dominant type of mass leisure among the realm wars.

The first ebook dedicated to Rothafel's multifaceted profession, American Showman examines his function because the key purveyor of a brand new movie exhibition aesthetic that appropriated valid theater, opera, ballet, and classical song to draw multi-class audiences. Roxy scored films, produced huge, immense level exhibits, controlled lots of New York's most vital motion picture homes, directed and/or edited propaganda motion pictures for the yank struggle attempt, produced brief and feature-length motion pictures, exhibited international, documentary, self reliant, and avant-garde films, and increased the notion of mainstream, advertisement cinema. He was once additionally one of many leader creators of the radio kind application, pioneering radio broadcasting, promotions, and tours.

The manufacturers and promoters of distinctive issues and kinds, showmen like Roxy profoundly remade the moviegoing event, turning the deluxe movie theater right into a venue for showing and generating reside and recorded leisure. Roxy's curiosity in media convergence additionally displays a bigger second during which the leisure started to create manufacturers and franchises, take advantage of them via content material unlock "events," and provides upward thrust to add movies, soundtracks, pronounces, reside performances, and comparable customer items. usually stated as one of many twelve most vital figures within the movie and radio industries, Roxy was once instrumental to the improvement of movie exhibition and advertisement broadcasting, musical accompaniment, and a brand new, convergent leisure industry.

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Extra info for American Showman: Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel and the Birth of the Entertainment Industry, 1908-1935

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The cut into the feature is a daring innovation, to say the least, but Mr. Rothapfel has done it successfully. The continuity of the story has not been interrupted but rather the action has been accelerated. 48 It would be hard to argue that this exhibition of Soldiers of Fortune would be the same as viewing the film at any other theater that did not incorporate these same elements. Roxy’s Los Angeles presentation of Soldiers of Fortune was no aberration. ” For the presentation of Triangle’s film Peggy (1916), for instance, Roxy stopped projecting the film when it cut from New York to Scotland, flooded the stage with light, and sent a bagpiper and a quartet singing “Loch Lomond” onto the stage.

And while] exhibitors always hoped for a strong feature, they did not feel wholly dependent on that part of their show which arrived in a can. ”17 Roxy noted, “The time is coming when the people will attend a picture presentation because it is in a wonderful theater. ”18 Motion Picture News highlighted, for instance, Roxy’s presentation of The Right to Happiness (1919) at New York’s Park Theatre: When the film titles . . are screened, the audience has [already] been treated to what is practically an opera and during its full fifteen minutes of presentation has been unconsciously tuned for enjoyment of the picture in a manner that could not have been accomplished in any other way.

INTRODUCTION Samuel Rothafel was the father of present-day motion picture exhibition. . He created the presentation house, the picture stage show; he brought into movie theaters the big concert orchestras, the ballets, the concert and opera singers. Every important feature of motion picture presentation in the theater today was the inspiration of Roxy. —W. R. Wilkerson, The Hollywood Reporter, January 1936 No man has done more to make for the success of the radio in the family circle than has the well-known figure.

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