Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nickelodeons: Child Corrupters?

In 1907, an article in the Chicago Daily Tribune denounced nickelodeons, early 20th century neighborhood film theaters, as "firetraps and tawdry corrupters of children." The newspaper seems to have a point in that, perhaps, these early theaters initiated what would later be known as childhood television addiction. One of the pictures show in class today underscores the Tribune's criticism. The child in the picture seemed to be stupified and even brainwashed by the film being shown. Are nickelodeons simply precursors for modern television entertainment that often serves as an addiction to bored youth? It seems so. However, to call them "tawdry corrupters" seems to be an assertion that exaggerates the truth unfairly.


Jim Tantillo said...

great comment. is there a link for the 1907 article?

Robin Simpson said...

Unfortunately, there isn't. I found this claim in AMC's timeline of influential milestones in film history. Here's the link: http://www.filmsite.org/milestones1900s_2.html