Celebrating the History of Motion Pictures from 1890 to 1960

1917 Timelines: 1910 to 1919

Backed financially by Artcraft Pictures, which is owned by Paramount Pictures, Douglas Fairbanks forms the “Douglas Fairbanks Pictures Corporation”. He will be paid $10,000 per week plus a percentage of the company profits.


Paramount Pictures, under Adolph Zukor, begins to require “block booking” of its films. This procedure forces exhibitors to commit themselves to an entire Paramount “package” of films each month that includes less desirable films along with its major features.


Thomas Edison, at the age of 70, begins to shut down his film production company.


Secretly funded, in part, by the German government, the German film trust “Universum Film Aktien Gesellschaft” (UFa) is formed. Integrating a number of established film companies, UFa immediately becomes the largest film company in Europe.


Twenty-seven regional film distributors, controlling over 2,000 cinemas, join together to form the “First National Exhibitor’s Circuit”. This new company, “First National”, hires Charlie Chaplin to make films for their theaters, paying Chaplin $125,000 for each of eight films.


Samuel Goldfish legally changes his name to Samuel Goldwyn, and he creates the “Goldwyn Distribution Company” to distribute and/or sell his films.


The Fox Film Corporation opens a studio in Los Angeles.


Significant Films:

The Comique Film Corporation releases the first “Fatty” Arbuckle film, “The Butcher Boy”. The film features a talented newcomer named Buster Keaton.

The Fox Film Corporation releases, “Cleopatra”, starring Theda Bara.

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