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Newspaper Page Text
1 '-p. " ,jM
THE MOVIES TO RIVAL NEWSPAPERS
ORGANS OF PUBLICITY
BY N. D. COCHRAN.
For years the newspapers have practically had things their own way
as to the moulding of public opinion through publicity. ' ' .
A new organ of publicity Is growing up that may change the enthe
situation. " '
I. refer to .the moving picture shows. There are in Chicago,- apI am,
told, 680 moving picture-theaters. Sonie of them seat only 400. sjraxe as
high as 4,000. The average seating capacity for a day's 13m is- said to be
That means that 680,000 people a day can attend moving picture
shows; and we know the attendance is growing, and that the moving picture
theaters, with their low prices, 'neighborhood locations? and Teally excellent
entertainments are gradually driving the so-called legitimate houses out
of business, and driving the best actors and actresses into the movies.
The rigid censorship of moving pictures in Chicago has driven the
moving picture men together for self-protection. And it is beginning to
get through their heads that they can submit their case to their patrons
the bulk of the people of Chicago by throwing brief news stories and even
editorials on the movie screen.
Let us suppose that the movie men were to decide that they wanted to
defeat any man for mayor because of attacks by his administration on their
business. If they can convince the !
people that their cause is right, they
can mould a powerful and irresistible
public sentiment by placing their ar
gument before the people on their 680
This new organ of publicity, might
become dangerous, both to the public
and to the business; for there might
be a temptation by some of the more
greedy and less scrupulous theater
owners to 'sell this publicity for
money. If thatjvere done, then such
theater would offend its patrons and
lose their confidence.
But they could get together and
state their case to their patrons in de
fense of their own business. The fair
er they were about it the greater the
influence of such publicity would be
in the long run.
I don't Know whether the criticism
of the? present bureau pf censors is
just or not, for I haven't seen the pic
tures they have censored. There is an
impression, however, that censoring
has been overdone, and that a few
individuals have been given power to
force their private opinions on others.
I formed my opinion on one thing
the submission of The Merchant of
Venice to a.commlttee of Jews to see
whether the portrayal of Shylock was
distasteful to the Jews. That was a
ridiculous situation that was only
saved by the sanity of the Jews on
the committee. They didn't reject
The Merchant of Venice.
While Jews are clannish, still they
are like all other human beings influ
enced by race consciousness. There
are wise Jews and foolish Jews. The
wise Jews know that they can't kill
off prejudice against them because of
their race -and religion by the brute
force of influence and pull.
For .example, if that committee of
Jews had favored rejection of The
Merchant of Venice because they
didn't like Shylock as a representa
tive of their race, they would have
aroused more prejudice against them,
instead of lessening what prejudice
Wise Jews "know there is a deep
seated prejudice against them. Why
it is I don't know. It goes deeper thaa