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LUNA PARK BY NIGHT ONE OF THE CONEY ISLAND AMUSEMENT CENTRES THAT HAVE GROWN INTO BEWILDERING VARIETY
AND ENORMOUS POPULARITY FROM THE ORIGINAL CONCEPTION OF MR. FRED. THOMPSON
So, in an effort to get an equal chance Bison Film Company, Powers Film Comat the profits, the independent manufac- pany, Victor Film Company, Rex Comturers combined into the Motion Picture pany, Crystal Film Company, Eclair Film Distributing and Sales Company. Gradu- Company, Frontier Film Company, Nestor ally but surely they built up a trade, some Film Company, Gem Film Company, and of the individuals conducting their own ex- the Champion Film Company. These changes, some combining and forming new independent manufacturers are able to exchanges, all in opposition to the licensed market with the exhibitors through exexchanges of the “trust.” Dissensions changes controlled by themselves. The arose in this new group, however, and now
three factions form a huge industry, capthere are two factions of independents, italized at millions of dollars. the Mutual Film Corporation and the Some years ago amusement parks were Universal Film Manufacturing Company. informal picnic grounds and in great To show how favorably these factions popular favor. Then, as more sensational compare in strength with the original forms of amusement were devised, interest "trust", the concerns composing them are
in them declined. "Novelty" after enumerated. In the Mutual Film Cor- “novelty” built up the open-park business, poration are the American Film Manufac- scenic railways, roller coasters, thrillers turing Company, Kaybee Motion Picture every one more daring than the last; Company, Keystone Film Company, stupendous Luna Park and Dreamland at Thanhouser Company, Reliance Company, Coney Island, and their imitators the Majestic Motion Picture Company, and country over. When, with his marvelous the Broncho Motion Picture Company. imagination, Mr. Fred. Thompson, fresh In the Universal Film Manufacturing from working out spectacular effects on Company are the Imp Film Company, a stupendous scale in the huge New
York Hippodrome, and soon after starting a SO. The promoters have complained new era of outdoor spectacular production about the fickle taste of the public; but the with his “Trip to the Moon” at Buffalo, answer has been made that the fault was conceived the idea of lumping together the promoters' own, that they were too all the little, cheap concessions strung greedy. Many amusement parks that out along Coney Island and enclosing were owned by railway companies, urban them, with one admission entrance, he and suburban and inter-urban, suffered pushed his new era along magically. because the railway service was so poor that Inside his enclosure he displayed “novel- patrons began to balance it against the ties” and spectacles to which only the sky pleasures and surprises of the parks. Now, need be the limit, no longer hampered already, ownership is beginning to change; by the confines of the Hippodrome.
citizens' committees are taking over the Other men throughout the country parks, improving railroad facilities, and eagerly snatched at the idea. The crowds aiming to maintain a solid, organized flocked to these places, of course; and institution of recreation and amusement breweries and street railways scrambled to which will hold after "novelty" has gone. supply the demand. Fortunes were made, Of course, there is an element which but many have been lost the last season or must have dance halls, hurdy-gurdies, and
"THE PAY STREAK" AT THE ALASKA-YUKON EXPOSITION A TYPICAL AMUSEMENT QUARTER OF A WORLD'S FAIR, THRONGED WITH THE FAKIRS AND SHOWMEN WHO GAIN
THEIR LIVELIHOOD FROM THE DETERMINATION OF HOLIDAY-MAKERS TO BE DIVERTED
electric lights by the myriad. To this generally lost money and have never made element these things spell amusement; but any. The old Glen Island Park, across it is not the element that will bring endur- the stream from New Rochelle, illusing profit to park managers. So now, trates this point. Laid out, as one though most parks through the country admirer contends, something like the display such shows as mysterious mechani- original Garden of Eden, with its pavilions cal devices, riding devices, carousels, and and zoological gardens, it made a million concessionaire attractions, much attention dollars for John H. Starin in the old is being paid to athletic fields, swimming days. Then came the sensational success pools, bathing beaches, ice ponds in winter, of Coney Island, and Glen Island Park was and shooting galleries.
outfitted with electric lights, dance halls The environs of New York seem to make and all the up-to-date “novelties.” But it a class for themselves in regard to amuse- failed. It was neither the one thing no ment parks. For, whereas through the the other. Attempting to draw "th country approximately the same route has better class of people" to its views of the been covered in the evolution of the picnic Sound, the trees, shore dinners, and clam ground into the hysterical spectacle and bakes, it found that “the better class of on into an organized recreation centre, people" preferred, when it did go to amuse New York appears unable to combine ment parks, to make a sort of “slumming attractions such as draw the following expedition" to Coney Island. boasted by parks in other communities. There is a large and ever-increasing In New York it is Coney Island or nothing; number of amusement parks through the parks that have been fitted up at great country, however, which draw steadily expense to make an appeal to what is from all classes of people. They are termed “the better class of people” have becoming well-organized, and present