“The Double Feature Evil”: Efforts to Eliminate the American Dual Bill

Gary D. Rhodes

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The essay discusses the actions and motivations of various groups that tried to end the practice of double feature film exhibition in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. Used as a price-cutting strategy, double features were embraced by marginal exhibitors and low-budget producers, but attacked by most major studios and established theatre chains. Methods employed to control the double feature included voluntary bans, governmental legislation, and legal action. During the depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal opposed the double feature as a strategy likely to undermine established admission price levels. But the double feature proved resilient and survived all these efforts, as well as an additional series of assaults, based on conservation of energy and materiel, mounted during the Second World War.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-74
Number of pages18
JournalFilm History: An International Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

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