Excerpt from The Moving Picture World, Vol. 33: August 4, 1917
There is an enormous vote in this country which can never be counted on by the politicians of any party, the vote of people who think for themselves. This great thinking mass cannot be forced, or bought, or jollied, or inﬂuenced in any way except through appeal to reason, judgment or a fine sense of duty. Without organization, without shouting and display, _ without even a name, this great thinking mass swings the destinies of our self governing people. They might be well called the Nation's Backbone. This backbone is a vital equation in our prob lems.
We have 'more high-class magazines, periodicals and newspapers in circulation than all other civilized nations combined. This clearly indicates that untold millions of our people are reading and thinking for themselves. We want those _millions to come into the moving picture theaters, and not only to come, but to go away so pleased that they will come again and again. We would like to have intelligent people get the habit of reading from the screen as they are now doing in print. Nothing better could happen to us than to have such a backbone to the entire industry.
Late one afternoon, many years ago, when the moving picture world was a thin sheet, I stood at the window of an office with a number of other men interested in the moving picture game and looked down on a throng of working people hurrying home. On their way was a movie theater, and some of them dropped in - dropped is the word - from sheer wearin'ess to get relief from the day's drudgery for a few cents. Some of that tired crowd were undoubtedly intelligent; some were easily-pleased weaklings some were clean and orderly; some belonged to the great unwashed; all were at the end of a day's labor and needed recreation.
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