Film Industry in 1930s

Topics: Great Depression, Art Deco, Film Pages: 6 (1980 words) Published: June 2, 2013
Tarit Tatiyarat
Barbara Kline

Marketing in 1930s and 2013

Seattle, the crowded city that was full of theaters and super stars. Many people came across the world just to see and buy the films. It is the place where the film was distributed through out the state. Numerous questions were popped up into my mind about what Seattle was like about almost 100 years ago. Walking around the neighborhood, I was impressed by the mysterious building. I was really curious about what kind of building it is and who used to live in that mysterious outstanding building. I went check for that person from the City Directory in Seattle Public Library and I found it. According to the City Directory, person name was Langdon C. Wingham, a manager of M-G-M. He is a white male who was born around 1896 and he was a resident of Seattle. He had been working in Film industry over ten years under M-G-M. I looked up in censuses of him and I found that in 1930s, the marital status was married but the census from 1920s and 1940s was single. After went through Seattle Public Library website, I found the article about the divorce of him and his wife. According to the article, Mr. Langdon C. Wingham complains about his wife playing golf “almost continuously” and in the end, they got divorced.

That building was the most beautiful building in the block and everyone that passed by will have to stop and look at it. The building was located at 2331 2nd Ave which is only half a mile away from Space needle and about 1.6 miles away from Seattle Central Community College. It was built in 1936, it was typically use for film exchange. Furthermore, it was building in Art Deco style, which is hard to find nowadays. Art Deco style was mostly appropriate for the movie industry, and it was often used in its various buildings. Many film exchanges throughout the country were Art Deco in style, and M-G-M’s own headquarters building on the Culver City lot, the Irving Thalberg Building, is a good example of Art Deco. (Bayer 1992)

After Metro-Golwyn-Mayer (M-G-M)/Loew’s occupied this building, the company provide significantly to the entertainment and culture of people throughout the world. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was formed in 1924 when the theater chain Loew’s Inc., owner of Metro Pictures, acquired Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer Pictures and merged the companies. It soon became one of the strongest the major motion picture production companies. The company distributed such notable films as Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain and Ben-Hur as well as the Tom and Jerry cartoons and Tarzan films. In 1930s, M-G-M dominated the film industry by producing fifty films a year. The company thrived during the Depression and was the only major studio to not lose money during the 1930s. For that reason it was able to construct buildings such as this one and other exchanges during this period. (Berner 1992)

This building was one of the main buildings of Seattle’s “Film Row” from its construction in 1936 until the 1960s. At that time, Seattle not only had more than fifty theaters, but all the major studios and many smaller ones had film exchanges here. Films were ship from here to many theaters in Washington. Furthermore, Many theater owners and managers came to Seattle themselves to view the films and select the ones they wanted to feature. Belltown evolved significantly during 1920s. It is located close to downtown make it a great location for apartment buildings. Two more transcontinental railroads, the Union Pacific and Milwaukee Road systems, reached Seattle and improve the city's position as a trade and shipping center, particularly with Asia and the North Pacific. The city's population became more diversified. Scandinavians came to work in fishing and lumbering, African Americans to work as railroad porters and waiters, and Japanese to operate truck gardens and hotels. Belltown also...

Cited: Aldredge, Lydia (ed.). Impressions of Imagination: Terra Cotta Seattle. Seattle: Allied Arts of Seattle, Inc., 1986.
Bayer, Patricia. Art Deco Architecture: Design, Decoration and Detail from the Twenties and Thirties. London: Thames & Hudson, Ltd. 1992.
Seattle Times. “Seattle is Rated Third as Film City,” March 21, 1932. Print.
Phelps, Myra. Public Works in Seattle: A Narrative History of the Engineering Department 1875-1975. Seattle: Kingsport Press, 1978. Print.
Lee, James P. Digital Photo Collections. 1929. Photograph. University of Washington, Special Collections Web. 1 May 2013.
Berner, Richard C. Seattle 1900 - 1920: From Boomtown to Restoration. Seattle: Charles Press, 1991.
Berner, Richard C. Seattle 1921-1940: From Boom to Bust. Seattle: Charles Press, 1992.
Berner, Richard C. Seattle Transformed: World War II to Cold War. Seattle: Charles Press, 1999.
Harrel, Andre D. The Role Of A Sales Manager Movie, 2011
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