At the turn of the twentieth century, cinema was quickly
establishing itself as a legitimate form of popular entertainment.
The essays in American Cinema 1890-1909 explore and define how
the making of motion pictures flowered into an industry that would
finally become the central entertainment institution of the world.
Beginning with all the early types of pictures that moved, this
volume tells the story of the invention and consolidation of the
various processes that gave rise to what we now call "cinema." By
examining the battles over patents, production, exhibition, and the
reception of film, readers learn how going to the movies became a
social tradition in American society.
In the course of these two decades, cinema succeeded both in
establishing itself among other entertainment and instructional
media and in updating various forms of spectacle.