'The Movie Business Is Dying!! Blame TV!' -- The 1959 Edition
from the the-sky-is-falling dept
So why do we care? Well, take a listen to the interview in part 2, done in May of 1959 with the CBC's Tony Thomas, where Pickford starts complaining about how television is killing the movie industry, and warns especially about the pernicious intent of pay TV. Starting around 27:40 in the recording, she claims that TV is going to takedown the motion picture industry:
Pickford: I, in my short life, have seen the birth and the death of motion pictures.Sound familiar? Of course, there's nothing wrong with making a bad prediction. We all do it. But, when the industry "insiders" are so consistently dead wrong about how every new technology will "kill off" their existing industry, at some point, shouldn't we be asking why people still take them seriously when they do it again?
Thomas: You think the motion picture has died?
Pickford: Mm hmm.
Thomas: But why should it?
Pickford: Because of the competition. Uh, you know. You can see the old motion pictures, that are just as good... or better than some of them today. And why should people leave their house?
Thomas: But you can see a picture so much better on a big screen in a comfortable theater than you can on a box in your living room.
Pickford: Well, that's true. But it's very expensive, and we have to face the fact that at one time there was 17,000 theaters -- I don't know what the number is today -- but it breaks my heart to go by them today and see them... bowling alleys and skating rinks. Certainly, the motion picture will always be there, but I believe when paid TV comes in, and I'm sure it'll be less expensive than going to the theater, that it'll be the real death knell of motion pictures.