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The Motion Picture Industry –
Potential Profit from Public Demand

 Even before the widespread use of sound and color, simple black-and-white movies quickly gained a hold on the public imagination. The making and showing of motion pictures became a source of potential profit within a few years after the process was invented. In this way, the cinema eventually contributed to the decline of the vaudeville world it came from. Instead, motion pictures became a separate industry, with dedicated theaters and companies formed specifically to produce and distribute films.

First Commercial Motion Picture
The Oberammergau Passion play of 1898 was the first commercial motion picture ever produced. Other pictures soon followed.

First Movie Theater
The first theater designed exclusively for cinema opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1905. Thousands of such theaters were built or converted from existing facilities within a few years. In the United States, these theaters came to be known as nickelodeons, because admission typically cost a nickel (5 cents).

Movies: The Largest Entertainment Industry
The popularity of the cinema has made motion pictures the largest industry in entertainment. The visual element of cinema needs no translation, giving the motion picture a universal power of communication. As a result, popular movies can become worldwide attractions, especially with the addition of dubbing or translated subtitles to communicate the dialogue. Motion picture actors can become major celebrities and command huge fees for their performances. Already by 1917, Charlie Chaplin had a contract that called for an annual salary of 1 million dollars.

Movie Studios and Hollywood
The cost of hiring star performers, along with expenses related to technological advancements, has led cinema production to concentrate under the auspices of movie studios. In the United States, much of the industry is centered around Hollywood. Other regional centers exist in many parts of the world. In addition, advances in affordable film making equipment have led to numerous independent film productions with far lower production costs than previously possible.

With modern technology, digital recording techniques have been applied to both the video and audio aspects of motion pictures. This has begun a gradual movement away from the medium of film.

According to a 2000 study by ABN AMRO, about 26% of Hollywood movie studios' worldwide income came from box office ticket sales; 46% came from VHS and DVD sales to consumers; and 28% came from television (broadcast, cable, and pay-per-view).

The Academy Awards (also known as The Oscars) are the most prominent film awards in the United States. The Awards are voted on and granted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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