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The Still Sells the Movies: The Power of Publicity Photos

Abstract

In 1928, at a convention of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, portrait photographer Fred R. Archer noted, “There has long been a saying that ‘the still sells the movies.’”
In the early 20th century, film was a brand new medium, if not quite yet an art form. The industry was slowly finding its way forward from novelty to Nickelodeon to movie palace. A fi lm studio’s success depended on exhibitors buying and screening their films, and audiences showing up to see them. So how did fi lmmakers entice exhibitors to choose their films and audiences to consider brand loyalty?

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