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Movie Ads - 1930
Bay City movie ads from Tuesday, February 22, 1930.

Movie Ad Scroller
Use link to "www.MapQuest.com" for finding locations of the movie theaters.

These motion picture ads appeared in the Bay City Times Daily newspaper. Silent motion pictures were on their way out -- many of the ads of many theaters promoted the new "talking" movies.

Old Movie Theaters

Movie Theaters houses during the early days were more than a large screen. Most had stages for live entertainment and large curtains. The decor of each was unique and beautiful creating an atmosphere of excitement and expectation for the audience. Many had a balcony where viewing the stage was ideal. Going to the theaters of this era was something very special.

To understand the difference between seeing movies today and the theater experience of yesterday, visit the State Theater in Bay City or the Temple Theater in Saginaw. Both are excellent examples of this era.

Silent to Sound

The transition to talking movies presented challenges for the silent movie stars. They had developed acting skills based on exagerated gestures and expressions to visually inform their audience. The only supporting words appeared on a black screen inserted between scenes only where it was essential to the story line.

Talking movies dramatically changed the art of acting and an audience experience. It was a challenge for actors who wanted to continue in the movies. They had a new way of acting. The exagerated gesters had to be moderated and replaced with the appropriate inflection of voice. Many actors were not successful in adapting and faded away to yesterday's news.

However, the advent of sound created new opportunities for vaudeville entertainers as their experience in the live theater was ideally suited for talking motion pictures. The vaudeville entertainer moved easily to radio and motions pictures because of this.

Did You Like The Ads?

Then help us if you can! We are at a point in our community's history where the movie theaters of the past will soon be totally forgotten with the exception of the State historical theater.

Help us recall those fine motion picture theaters of yesterday by sharing your memory of them on Bay-Journal. If you missed out on the grand era, ask your grandparents about their memories -- then share it with us for all to enjoy.


We also need copies of images from that time period - photos, newspaper clippings, etc. Need help on getting started? Send us an email and we'll do what we can to help you share your contribution to local history.

Other Local Theaters

- Avenue Theater - Broadway (1922)
- Bay City Movie House - 417 S. Johnson (1947)
- Coliseum Building - 1117 Washington Avenue (1922)
- Family Theater - 1203 Columbus (1922)
- Center Theater - 200 Center Avenue (1947)
- Roxy Theater - 521 Washington Avenue (1947)

Related Internet Resources:
  1. The Talkies American Cinema's Trasition to Sound (Google Book)
  2. Cinemas Treasures All about old movies.
  3. Complete History of the Discovery of Cinematography
  4. Hollywood Films How they are made.
  5. VitaPhone What is it?
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