The film industry had an enormous impact on Broadway in the 1930s, and the movie musical ushered in a new genre of performance. Film musicals were often portmanteau revues or new, awkward stage adaptations with backstage themes. Despite the limited scope of film musicals, the industry was able to make them competitive with Broadway shows. The early years of film musicals were filled with problems, including the technological limitations of the film medium.
Films produced by the major studios changed the aesthetic dynamics of the entertainment industry. Sound made movies more popular and sparked the most mergers in motion picture history. Studio owners, such as MGM and Fox, began aggressively purchasing first-run theatre chains. They pushed for dominance of small exhibitors and used sound to increase ticket sales. These studios became major corporations and forced the industry to move from silent films to sound.
During the 1930s, the film industry was affected by the Great Depression. Many films were canceled or made too long. As a result, the film industry responded by producing more films. Films became an essential part of the American economy and helped the US economy. However, their economic conditions also affected the Broadway industry. Because of this, the industry struggled to attract new audiences. To counteract the effects of this downturn, studios aimed to counteract the decline in theater attendance. The film industry was a valuable source of entertainment during the Depression, and it was the era when American film reached its peak of influence.
After the Great Depression, studio executives felt that their films were promoting immoral behavior. To combat this, studio heads instituted a code of conduct that governed acceptable screen behavior. The code also served as a blueprint for scriptwriters. With a strict code, Hollywood producers were able to increase the efficiency of their productions. The Hays Code prevented the reproduction of the original material and tinkered with the lyrics.
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