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“Seventeen Happy Days” in Hollywood: Selig Polyscope's Promotional Campaign for the Movie Special of July 1915

Kia Afra
Film History
Vol. 22, No. 2, This Issue: Movies in America (2010), pp. 199-218
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/fil.2010.22.2.199
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/fil.2010.22.2.199
Page Count: 20
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“Seventeen Happy Days” in Hollywood: Selig Polyscope's Promotional Campaign for the Movie Special of July 1915
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Abstract

Although it was historically overshadowed by Universal City's grand opening in March 1915, Selig Polyscope's July 1915 promotional excursion commemorating the opening of the Selig Zoo offers significant insight into the relationship of film studios, exhibitors, the press, and audiences during the 1910s. This paper examines Selig's two-part promotional strategy to reach audiences and fans: directly, in the form of allowing patrons and locals to interact with Selig stars producing The Seven Suffering Sisters onboard the journey; and indirectly through press editors who were encouraged to clip articles in Selig's house organ, Paste-Pot & Shears, and to cover the Selig Movie Special at every stop on its trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. In this way, Selig circumvented uncooperative exhibitors and ensured local newspaper promotions for its films and stars.

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