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New York exhibitor jailed for allowing minors into his theater

October 11, 2011

From the New York Sun, 100 years ago today:

Moses Maas, the proprietor of a moving picture showhouse at East Houston and Pitt streets, was convicted in the Court of Special Sessions yesterday of allowing minors in to see his performance unaccompanied by a guardian. He was sentenced to serve twenty days in the City Prison, which is the first time a moving picture impresario here has been punished by a jail sentence, his conviction was obtained mainly through the efforts of the Unity Club, an East Side organization formed last August for the purpose of putting a stop to the practice of proprietors of allowing children in to see their shows.

Supt. Moore of the Gerry society told the Justices that Maas’s place was the worst in the city.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. pmarasa permalink
    November 3, 2011 2:49 pm

    Would love to know what was playing in mid-October 1911.

    • Naïve Spectator permalink*
      November 5, 2011 6:18 pm

      It’s hard to know what was playing at this theater in particular, since it didn’t advertise in any newspapers. We do know that it was really cheap. (In another article was described as offering two tickets for a nickel.) So it likely showed a variety of second or third-run fare. The kinds of films that people didn’t want kids to see back then are similar to those today. Depictions of sex and violence were thought to be damaging. Probably the kids were watching films like Lean Wolf’s End or A City Wolf.
      But perhaps your comment was a dig at my declining rate of posting info about films? Sadly, writing my dissertation fills up most of my waking hours (and even some of my sleeping ones!)

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