The American cinema has developed in constant interaction with other art forms, mass entertainment forms, and mass communication media.One of the first instances of American film's interaction with other media was its relationship with vaudeville. all of the early film projectors were demonstrated in vaudeville theatres, and for its first ten years as a commercial enterprise0 the American cinema depended heavily upon vaudeville as an exhibition outlet. Almost no primary research has been done on the relationship between vaudeville and film, and survey histories of the American cinema treat this topic only cursorily.
Unlike some histories of American cinema, this study does not emphasize aesthetic aspects of film, rather, drawing on functions and uses-and-gratifications research in mass communication, it sees the cinema as serving a number of different audience needs. Further, this study is based of the belief that the American cinema, particularly as economic institution, developed as one component of a mass entertainment system, affecting and being affected by other elements of this system. I chronicle the relationship between vaudeville and film in the United States between the advent of commercial screen projection (1895) and the adoption of the feature film as the standard cinematic form by the American film industry (1915).
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