Rise Of American Theaters And Consumerist Desires

1594 WordsOct 29, 20147 Pages
Rise of American Theaters And Consumerist Desires In the early twentieth century movies signified modernity by becoming the most prevalent medium of culture in the United States in a period of time where the social makeup was shifting from a predominantly middle class to working class neighborhoods that were made up of many different communities. As a direct consequence, nickelodeons, temporary storefront theaters, and vaudeville programs all flourished in the working class districts. By the late 1920s, almost every large American city showed off a new “picture palace,” an elaborately constructed movie theater. Moreover, with this transition from previous vaudeville houses and nickelodeons to the rise of these so-called picture palaces in the United States, new spaces of consumerism were forged that focused on enlightening the average spectator as movie moguls such as the notable Samuel “Roxy” Rotahfel who envisioned a specific function for all major theaters. Consequently, I would argue that these new spaces of consumerism transformed and transfixed its audiences architecturally (looking at the physical space of the theater) and psychologically (reading space as consumerist fantasy) in Roxy’s picture palaces such as the Family Theater and the Regent Theater and how these theaters fit into the market of mass consumerism in creating desire as well as a release from modern societal pressures. Additionally, I would like to explore how Roxy and his team carefully created an

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