1911 Timelines: 1910 to 1919

The Vitagraph Company of America opens a film studio in California.

 

Although more and more films that are longer than just one reel are being produced, the exchanges find that it is awkward to handle and rent them. Exchanges usually rent these multi-reel films one reel at a time, despite the fact that the multiple-reels, shown in sequence, depict a single story.

 

Pathè capitalizes on the popularity and fame of the French comic actor, Max Linder, by adding his first name to the titles of his comic films. An example is “Max and His Dog Dick”.

 

Pathè refuses to honor the Motion Picture Patents Company’s (MPPC) contract with Eastman Kodak that requires Pathè to buy raw film stock only from Kodak. Pathè builds its own factory in France to manufacture raw film stock.

 

The explosion of independent film producers, producers who will not agree to the monopolistic restrictions imposed by the MPPC (the “Edison Trust”), begins to seriously affect the number of Pathè films being distributed in both the U.S. and France. Pathè’s share of the U.S. film market slips from over 30% to under 10%.

 

Pathè begins to abandon film production to concentrate on film distribution. The French cinema industry quickly becomes decentralized.

 

The French motion picture company, Gaumont, opens the largest cinema in the world in Paris. The “Gaumont-Palace” has 3,400 seats.

 

To combat the growing output of single-reel films made in the U.S., French, Italian and Danish film companies launch a concerted effort to produce multi-reel, feature-length films on a regular basis.

 

Significant Films:

Vitagraph releases a three-reel adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel, “A Tale of Two Cities”. Each reel is rented separately.

The Biograph Company releases the D.W. Griffith film, “Enoch Arden”. It is two-reels long, and Biograph has decided to show both reels at the same time.

Thomas Ince releases a two-reel Western for Bison Life Pictures entitled, “War on the Plains”. Shot in California, it sets a new standard for Westerns by using authentic cowboys, Indians, buffalo, covered wagons and stagecoaches.

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The Picture Show Man website was established in 2004 to be a comprehensive and free resource for anyone interested in vintage movies. Our focus is the history of motion pictures from the beginning of its development in 1890, to the end of 1960.

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