Local newspaper movie contests and the creation of the first movie fans

  • Jessica Leonora Whitehead York University
Keywords: Digital archives, Female fandom, Historical fandom, Silent film fandom


This 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

Author Biography

Jessica Leonora Whitehead, York University
PhD candidate, Communication & Culture