Local newspaper movie contests and the creation of the first movie fans
Keywords:Digital archives, Female fandom, Historical fandom, Silent film fandom
AbstractThis article explores the advent of local newspaper movie contests in the 1910s and how these contests helped to create active movie fans. Such contests increased the popularity of the new medium of film by engaging local audiences in the process of filmmaking, including fans as scriptwriters and even stars. They helped to transform film into a dominant cultural practice by creating local spaces for film patrons to become part of the national pastime of going to the show. They did so by appealing directly to female spectators, who both legitimized going to the movies and created dynamic film fan communities
- Figure 3. Screenshots of the Lima Daily News (L) and Wilkes Barr Times (R) announcing the winners in the Lyman H. Howe "Famous Building" contest. Note that both the headline and opening paragraphs are almost identical.
- Screenshot of the Milwaukee Journal, April 10, 1915, with the headline “Can You Write A Photo Ply?” indicating the rules for the "Made in Milwaukee Picture Play"
- Figure 6. Screenshot of Milwaukee Journal, April 21, 1915, with headline “Journal Photoplay Story Contest Ends Friday: Film Stories so Numerous Judges Need an Extra Day” indicating the popularity of the contest.
- Figure 7. List of cities that ran "Man Haters" contests.
- Figure 13. Screenshots from of the Lima Daily News (L) and Logansport Journal Tribune (R), showing the standard opening articles for the "Man Haters" contest.
- Figure 14. Screenshot of a standard coupon for the Who Will Be Ruth Contest? from the Cedar Rapids Republican
- Figure 8. Screenshot of the Pittsburg Press, April 29, 1908, with the headline “Of Interest to Women: Taught Marriage is Sinful, She Marries First Man She Meets”, which tells the story of Adah Pratt of the Belton Woman's Commonwealth
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