READING: Fuller Chapter 2

At the end of Fuller’s chapter 2, she mentions that some, “exhibitioners, however, rated Sunday one of their most profitable business days; they continually fought to stay open, incurring fines and even jail sentences” (46). Along with cinema’s development, times were shifting and people’s values were changing. It’s interesting noting where and how people were willing to adjust their personal and cultural values in reaction to film’s rise in popularity. In this example, in the mid-Atlantic, exhibitioners were willing to give up their Christian values to make an extra buck and, if it were not for the law, it appears as if many an audience member would also have been equally willing to spend ¬†their Sundays leisurely watching movies instead of attending church. In the south, on the other hand, exhibitioners were not willing to make this sacrifice, but still dealt with the division between entertainment’s handling of vulgar subject matter and the church’s criticism of film. Again, we see the persistence of the conflict between church and town policy. But it is not only this religious quandary and its variations throughout the country that interest me. It is also the moral quandaries that arose and called out to be answered. A prejudiced south was forced to ask whether their biases and segregated theaters ¬†were more valuable to them than the black man’s nickel. In the north, a conglomeration of ethnicities came into contact as a result of cinema’s attraction, but, as Fuller says, women and girls amongst others were still sectioned off from the communal viewing experience. In sum, early film intersected with a cultural crossroad in which the country had to reevaluate its identity and morals.