Starts Thursday

The World of Motion Picture Advertising Slides

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July 15, 2010

Welcome to STARTS THURSDAY!  I was a teenager when I first encountered coming attraction slides.  At the time I was a devoted fan of the silent era (some things never change) and spent most of the money I earned on Super 8 prints from the Blackhawk Film Company of Davenport, Iowa.  I was especially fascinated by the three Kings of Comedy and the quest of my adolescence was to obtain prints of all twelve of the shorts Chaplin created while with the Mutual Film Company.  I never quite got them all, but I came pretty close.  Of course, they are all now available as a set on DVD at a cost far lower than the individual celluloid prints I was buying in the 1970s.

Saved by Wireless (1915)

One special reel I specifically remember purchasing from was a slide show of silent film coming attractions.  After viewing the compilation over and over, I eventually cut it into individual segments and spliced the pieces on to the fronts of many of my favorite titles.  Henceforth, many of my home screenings began with a couple of slides.

Thirty years later, I remain fascinated by the history represented by these artifacts, and just as equally I enjoy their unique artistic and aesthetic qualities.  With STARTS THURSDAY! I hope not only to share my passion for these images, but more importantly to provide a forum for sharing the modest amount of knowledge I have acquired regarding the medium and, hopefully, to encourage others to contribute what they have learned as well.