The Film’s the Thing: moviegoing in Philadelphia, 1935–36

Catherine Jurca, John Sedgwick

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This essay explores what a trove of daily box-office reports from the Stanley- Warner theatre chain exhibition records can tell us about movie going in a major American metropolis in the mid-1930s. By tracing films’ movements and earnings systematically and relationally across twenty-three theatres, it shows how important the feature film, and a number of specific films, were to moviegoers, and that distribution and exhibition responded to their film preferences. The findings also indicate that even theatres within the same run demonstrated significant variety in the audience needs and desires they served.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-83
JournalFilm History: An International Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • audiences
  • distribution
  • exhibition
  • reception studies
  • Warner Bros.


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