New York Dramatic Mirror, 1917-01-13 cover
Cover of The New York Dramatic Mirror featuring Mary Pickford in The Pride of the Clan (1917).
By 1908 there were 10,000 permanent movie theaters in the U.S. alone. For the first thirty years, movies were silent, accompanied by live musicians, sound effects, and narration. Until World War I, movie screens were dominated by French and Italian studios. During Great War, the American movie industry center, "Hollywood," became the number one in the world. By the 1920s, the U.S. was producing an average of 800 feature films annually, or 82% of the global total. Hollywood's system and its publicity method, the glamourous star system provided models for all movie industries. Efficient production organization enabled mass movie production and technical sophistication but not artistic expression. In 1915, in France, a group of filmmakers began experimenting with optical and pictorial effects as well as rhythmic editing which became known as French Impressionist Cinema. In Germany, dark, hallucinatory German Expressionism put internal states of mind onscreen and influenced the emerging horror genre. The Soviet cinema was the most radically innovative. In Spain, Luis Buñuel embraced abstract surrealism and pure aestheticism. And, just like that, at about its peak time, the silent cinema era ended in 1926-1928.
The paper was founded in January 1879 by Ernest Harvier as the New York Mirror. In stating its purpose to cover the theater, it proclaimed that coverage of the dramatic profession had been "degraded by having its affairs treated in the professedly theatrical papers side by side with prize fights, cocking matches, baseball, and other sports." This referred to competitors such as the New York Clipper. The word "Dramatic" was inserted in the title in 1889, and the "New York" dropped in 1917. Harrison Grey Fiske started contributing in 1879, and eventually obtained ownership of the paper. Fiske's involvement ended in 1911. Frederick Franklin Schrader and Lymon O. Fiske then took over. The paper published until April 1922, after changing from a weekly publication to a monthly at its very end.