Manchester Culture•   By the end of the 19th century, Manchester already had a reputation    for merrymaking:•   Public ho...
Early Cinema In Manchester•   Well before Hollywood dominated the film world, films were shown to the    Manchester mass• ...
The First Cinemas•   Longsight Picture Palace, Stockport Road•   Alhambra, Openshaw•   King’s Hall, Hulme•   Cinematograph...
Growing Popularity•   in 1913, there were 111 licensed cinemas in Manchester•   Serving a population on 714,000•   More ci...
The 1927 Cinematographers Act • By the mid-1920s, British film production has ground to a   halt (only 33 British films we...
History                 J. Arthur Rank                     •   In 1933, J. Arthur Rank, who had started                   ...
Film In Manchester•   The story of the Mancunian Film Company began in 1908•   Market trader James Blakeley entered the wo...
Film In Manchester•   James sold the cinema and set up a    film rental company with his two sons    – James Jnr and John ...
America vs. Britain•   Until WWI, the American and British    film industries grew at a similar rate•   WWI saw huge inves...
Film Production•   In 1927 John E talked the family into taking the plunge and making    their own films.•   With his cann...
Film Production•   The 1930s and sound led to even    more success for the Mancunian Film    Company, John E, having more ...
Manchester’s First Film Studio•   The Second World War saw a series of cheery comedies emerge from    Mancunian, all of th...
The First Manchester-Made Film           • The first Manchester made feature             film to be released was called Cu...
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Intro to Manchester and The Film Industry (TV Y1)

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Intro to Manchester and The Film Industry (TV Y1)

  1. 1. Manchester Culture• By the end of the 19th century, Manchester already had a reputation for merrymaking:• Public house stirs, music halls, penny gaffs, organ grinders on the street, the monkey parade• Between the wars, Manchester’s export market for textiles collapsed to just one third of it’s 1913 level• One third of cotton workers out of work, many on reduced hours• Cinema provided not only a form of entertainment, but a form of escapism• Importantly, it was also a cheep form of entertainment
  2. 2. Early Cinema In Manchester• Well before Hollywood dominated the film world, films were shown to the Manchester mass• In make shift venues (like ‘Penny Gaffs’) and limited by technology (short clips)• Accompanied by a compares, musicians and singers• 1896: First films shown in Manchester, St James’ Theatre, Oxford Road• 1896: Films shown at the old YMCA building on St Peter’s Street• 1986: Lumiere Brothers promote a show at the Lesser Free Trade Hall• 1889: 15,000 people watched five showings of the Corbett vs. Fitzsimmons boxing world championship bout• Newsreels (via Gaumont and Pathe) of ‘real life events (death of King Edward, San Francisco earthquake) were shown in the city• By 1909 there were regular shows at most of the main theatres• Production companies, film rental and repair companies clustered around Deansgate and Great Ducie Street
  3. 3. The First Cinemas• Longsight Picture Palace, Stockport Road• Alhambra, Openshaw• King’s Hall, Hulme• Cinematographers Act, 1909 – required cinemas to abide by safety standards and hold an entertainments license• Trivoli on Peter Street was one of the first granted a license• The Picture House (McDonlads at the top of Oxford Road) was one of the first purpose built cinemas in 1911• The Picture House seat 1000 people – ‘… the largest and finest cinematograph theatre in the UK• The Kinemacolour (1910) – on the site of the main Cornerhouse screen
  4. 4. Growing Popularity• in 1913, there were 111 licensed cinemas in Manchester• Serving a population on 714,000• More cinemas per head than any other city• 1914 – weekly cinema audiences for the UK were in excess of 20 million people
  5. 5. The 1927 Cinematographers Act • By the mid-1920s, British film production has ground to a halt (only 33 British films were made in 1925) • In 1926, over 600 American films were shown in Britain • In 1927 Parliament brought in an important piece of legislation the Cinematographers Trade Bill, designed to ensure there was a guaranteed home market for British made films • This meant that 5% of the total number of movies shown in theatres had to be from Britain (this figure rose to 20% by 1936) • American companies simply came over to the UK and started making films • These were terrible and known as ‘Quota Quickies’
  6. 6. History J. Arthur Rank • In 1933, J. Arthur Rank, who had started by making religious films in order to spread the word of the gospel, founded British National • In 1935, he went into partnership with C.M.Woolf to take over Pinewood Studios, 20 miles west of London and found the Rank Organisation • When some early films that he was involved with didnt get a very good circulation he realised that control of the movie theatres was the key to success • He went into partnership with a gent called Oscar Deutsch who was building aJ. Arthur Rank chain of cinemas • The two established the ODEON (Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation) cinema chain
  7. 7. Film In Manchester• The story of the Mancunian Film Company began in 1908• Market trader James Blakeley entered the world of entertainment when he decided to buy a cinema of his own accord• It would have been what was known then as a ‘Penny Gaff’, a building, often a converted shop or chapel with rows of benches on a sloping floor, a projector and a sheet for a screen• In America, a similar process took place in shops front• These were called ‘Nickelodeons’ in America• Cinema was in its early days and parts of it were still considered by many to be too rough and ready for a sophisticated audience, yet James managed to pack in the crowds
  8. 8. Film In Manchester• James sold the cinema and set up a film rental company with his two sons – James Jnr and John E. Blakeley• Blakeley’s Central Film Agency scored a major coup in 1915 when John E persuaded his father that a movie called Tillie’s Punctured Romance would be a big hit.• Tillie starred Charlie Chaplin in his first full-length comedy and other rental firms thought it would be too long to hold an audience’s attention
  9. 9. America vs. Britain• Until WWI, the American and British film industries grew at a similar rate• WWI saw huge investment in the war effort resulting in a diminished film industry in Britain• America flourished and began flooding the UK with American films• Not only were few British films being made, few people actually wanted to see them• The major studio cornered the distribution market in the UK
  10. 10. Film Production• In 1927 John E talked the family into taking the plunge and making their own films.• With his canny gift of guessing correctly Blakeley produced a series of what we might call ‘silent musicals’ – or ‘singalong silents’• Once again these were highly successful and led to John E trying his luck at making a feature film• The result – Two Little Drummer Boys starred Wee Georgie Wood and recouped its costs in no time.• Even though these films had to be shot in London studios it remained John E’s dream to set up a studio in Manchester
  11. 11. Film Production• The 1930s and sound led to even more success for the Mancunian Film Company, John E, having more or less taken charge, introducing to the world the talented George Formby in his first two movies Boots Boots and Off The Dole• Made for very little overheads in a film studio over a London garage they proved to John E once and for all that his seemingly simple formula for making movies – no fancy camera work, simple plots, very little editing combined with the best talents the Northern Variety Halls had available – was all you needed to make a highly profitable and successful movie
  12. 12. Manchester’s First Film Studio• The Second World War saw a series of cheery comedies emerge from Mancunian, all of them eagerly lapped up by a wartime audience that needed morale boosting movies that would lift the spirits.• Three of them starred Lancashire comic Frank Randle who was, at that time, the highest paid comedian in England.• After the War Randle and Blakeley (with several other partners) became directors of the Film Studios Manchester and in 1947 John E’s dream came to fruition with the opening of the Dickenson Road studio in Rusholme• At a cost of £70,000, Film Studios (Manchester) was equipped and The ‘Fun Factory’ or ‘Jollywood’ housed in an old Wesleyan Church, on Dickenson Road, Rusholme.
  13. 13. The First Manchester-Made Film • The first Manchester made feature film to be released was called Cup- Tie Honeymoon (1948) and starred Sandy Powell • It was the first of many similar films to be made in Rusholme, all of them panned by the critics but loved by audiences • Mancunian films regularly outdrew Hollywood productions in cinemas around the North West

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