Apache Archives is a recurring historical article featuring a timeline of anniversary events for a week. There will be a weekly spotlight interviewing TJC faculty and students on the impact of a highlighted historical event.
By Madison Heiser
On Feb. 5, 1870, the first motion picture was shown to an audience at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Exactly 150 years later, moviegoers look back on the impact motion picture has had
on American society.
According to the Motion Picture Association of America, approximately 246 million Americans visited movie theaters at least once in 2016, generating a box office revenue of $11.4 billion in North America alone. In contrast, the Theatre Historical Society of America estimated 2 million Americans who visited movie theaters by 1907, two years after the first public nickelodeon – a theater with an admission cost of five cents – opened in Pittsburgh.
Sophomore TJC student Chiagozie Nwasuruba reflected on the effects of movies today.
“It has grown into a huge, worldwide industry,” he said. “I believe that without movies, our society would be pretty boring and bland.”
As of 2014, NATO recorded 39,356 movie screens throughout the world, bringing cinema’s realm of eclectic culture and ideas to the global population. The popularity of domestic and international film festivals has expanded; these festivals serve as a platform for creativity, expression and advocacy for filmmakers around the globe. Such festivals also provide a stage to debut innovative cinematic technology, including advancements in cinematography, costume and set design, and computer animation.
Aside from a broad societal impact, movies play an intimate role in the lives and homes of countless American families. The same is true for government professor David McClendon, who recalled many childhood memories surrounding his father’s management of a movie theater.
“Family movie night is now a regular part of how I have fun with my own wife and children,” McClendon said.
In his opinion, movies provide “a way for us to share stories and information so we can have a shared experience in society; they spark our own imagination by showing us what others have found to be possible, or what others have imagined might be possible.”
Cinema continues to develop new stories and innovations, striving to instill a sense of wonder among the global population as it has for