There was once a time when the movies were king. At its peak in 1946, between 80 to 90 million people went to the movies every week. That was nearly 60 percent of the United States’ entire population at the time. And every movie that people saw came out of Hollywood. This was the period in film history known as the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Some of the best movies ever made were produced in this era, and the film business was booming. But just how did Hollywood become the entertainment capital of the world?
In the previous episode of TheWrap’s video series “The Business,” we examined how Hollywood ended up in Southern California and established the industry we know today. In this latest episode, “When Hollywood Was the Center of the Entertainment Industry,” we look at how “The Jazz Singer” and the rise of “talkies” paved the way for Hollywood’s most productive and lucrative period.
This video explains how The Big Five studios controlled every aspect of the filmmaking process, from the development, production, distribution and exhibition of their films. It also looks back at how the industry censored itself, how it offset losses and attracted the top talent from around the world.
But what led to the decline of the Golden Age? How did the studio system of old morph into what it is today? Is “Citizen Kane” really better than “Avengers: Infinity War” (spoiler: it is)?
We answer all these questions and more in the latest episode of “The Business.” Watch it above.