The Major Film Studios: The Big Five
1920-1930 was the decade between the end of the Great War and the
Depression following the Stock Market Crash. Film theaters and studios were not
initially affected in this decade by the Crash in late 192
Films really blossomed in the 1920s, expanding upon the foundations of film from
earlier years. Most US film production at the start of the decade occurred in or
near Hollywood on the West Coast, although some films were still bein
Throughout most of the decade, silent films were the predominant product of the
film industry, having evolved from vaudevillian roots. But the films were becoming
bigger (or longer), costlier, and more polished. They were being man
The Big-Five studios had vast studios with elaborate sets for film production.
They owned their own film-exhibiting theatres (about 50% of the seating capacity
in the US in mostly first-run houses in major cities), as well as produ
Warner Bros. Pictures was incorporated in 1923 by Polish brothers (Jack,
Harry, Albert, and Sam).
In 1925, Warner Brothers merged with First National, forming Warner Bros.First National Pictures.
The studio's first principal asset
Originally, in the earliest years of the motion picture industry, production,
distribution, and exhibition were separately controlled. When the industry rapidly
grew, these functions became integrated under one directorship to maxi
4 Marcus Loew of Loew's, Inc., was the parent firm of what eventually became Metro-Goldwy
Metro Pictures Corporation was a production company founded in 1916 by Richard A.
Rowland and Louis B. Mayer. In 1918, Mayer left th
1 Universal Pictures, (or Universal Film Manufacturing Co)
. was founded by Carl Laemmle in 1912.
It was formed from a merger of Laemmle's own IMP Independent Motion Picture Company (founded in 1909)
with Bison 101, the U. S. produ
Pianist follow the action up on the screen with their eyes and would attempt to reflect the
mood and speed of the movie's action with their piano playing
Movies sent with cue sheets, to play music or add sound effects during the vi