Warner Brothers centenary

The first film studios were born in Europe at the turn of the 19th century, with the founding of the Gaumont Studio in 1895, and still in business. In the United States, “Hollywood” only became the symbol of world cinema around the 1900s, when immigrants and producers left the east coast to escape the legal battles over the patents registered by Thomas Edison. In addition, with a milder winter, the climate was ideal for recording throughout the year.

Filming began in California around 1907, with a precursor to Universal Studios building the first studio in 1909 and others quickly following. Between 1910 and 1920, the business grew with several companies establishing themselves in Los Angeles, with many Jewish immigrants having great employment opportunities in the film industry and creating a new business, leaving the exhibition of short films in theaters (the nickelodeons) and passing for film production: long and grandiose.

It didn’t take long for film studios to become powerful companies, generating jobs and fortunes, including Columbia (1918), Paramount (1912), Universal (1912), Disney (1913), Warner Brothers (1913), RKO (1923), MGM (1924) and Fox (1935). In just a few years, Hollywood was already the fifth-largest industry in the country, and in the 1930s, the studios began to control the production, distribution, and exhibition of films.

In April 2023, it is Warner that celebrates its centennial because although brothers Sam, Albert, and Jack Warner started in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the movie theater business, moved into distribution in 1904, and opened a branch in Los Angeles in 1913, it was only on April 4, 1923, that they formally became Warner Bros. Pictures. In other words, a week to celebrate!

There are so many classics with the Warner brand that it is difficult to list them, not even worth trying. But it was the “home” of stars like Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Fred Astaire, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant, Erroll Flynn, Gary Cooper, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Olivia de Havilland, Joan Crawford, Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, James Stewart, Audrey Hepburn, Liz Taylor, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Grace Kelly, Paul Newman, Elvis Presley, Natalie Wood, Debbie Reynolds, Barbra Streisand, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts… you get the idea, right?

Congratulations, Warner, may the next 100 years be productive!


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