“Last year was the turning point,” Schamus said. “The actual death knell of the business was heard by those with their ears to the ground…We’re in a fight for the survival of American film.”
Schamus’ provocative introduction was followed by a survey of Motion Picture News articles about the film business drawn from 1916.
Universal Pictures mogul Carl Laemmle warned in two-page trade ads about the mortal danger that feature-length films posed to the nickel-a-seat business of one- and two-reelers. Other stories weighed in on the “absurdly” wide release of the latest Mary Pickford film on 80 screens, the rise of ticket prices to 10 cents and even 15 cents, the innovative