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

By Ross Melnick

Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel (1882–1936) equipped an influential and prolific profession as movie exhibitor, degree manufacturer, radio broadcaster, musical arranger, theater supervisor, warfare propagandist, and foreign star. He helped engineer the combination of movie, song, and concert in silent movie exhibition; scored early Fox Movietone motion pictures comparable to dawn (1927); pioneered the convergence of movie, broadcasting, and tune publishing and recording within the Twenties; and helped video clips and moviegoing turn into the dominant type of mass leisure among the area wars.

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

The manufacturers and promoters of particular topics and kinds, showmen like Roxy profoundly remade the moviegoing adventure, turning the deluxe movie theater right into a venue for displaying and generating reside and recorded leisure. Roxy's curiosity in media convergence additionally displays a bigger second within which the leisure started to create manufacturers and franchises, take advantage of them via content material unencumber "events," and provides upward push to add movies, soundtracks, proclaims, reside performances, and comparable client items. frequently brought up as one of many twelve most crucial figures within the movie and radio industries, Roxy was once instrumental to the advance of movie exhibition and advertisement broadcasting, musical accompaniment, and a brand new, convergent leisure industry.

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

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14 David Robinson, recalling the “total experience” of viewing Kevin Brownlow’s Napoleon screenings at Radio City Music Hall in 1980 with a live orchestra, argues that “to see a great silent film, in a lustrous print, with a symphonic live musical accompaniment, projected in a grand theater with a packed audience is an experience de sui generis. ”15 TRANSITIONAL AND CLASSICAL ERA SILENT FILM EXHIBITION “During the 1915–1928 period,” a periodization that transcends the transitional period (1908–1917) and the “classical” or late silent era, Richard Koszarski notes, “the experience of viewing a film was far different from what it would be at any time before or since.

ISBN 978-0-231-15904-3 (cloth : alk. paper) 1. Rothafel, Samuel Lionel, 1881–1936. 2. Motion picture theater owners—United States—Biography. 3. Radio broadcasters—United States—Biography. 4. Businessmen—United States—Biography. 5. Motion picture industry—United States—History. 6. Motion picture theaters—United States—History. I. Title. 4302′32092—dc23 [B] 2011050324 A Columbia University Press E-book. edu. References to Internet Web sites (URLs) were accurate at the time of writing. Neither the author nor Columbia University Press is responsible for URLs that may have expired or changed since the manuscript was prepared.

While the concept of the supertext is an attractive model for more clearly articulating the multifarious texts offered by silent cinema exhibition, the industrial and aesthetic differences between the often private televisual space of television programming and the coordinated public experience of silent film exhibition are far too great to enable the term’s full employment here. Instead, I would like to mobilize the concept of a unitary text to better understand the meanings transacted during the live and filmed programming available to audiences during this period that had a tremendous influence on audience comprehension and on the original experience of any silent film.

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