The Vertically Integrated Motion Picture Company

Lubin offered his first cameras and projectors for sale in 1897 and was promptly sued by the Edison Co. for patent infringement the following year. He took out his own patents in 1900 and, between 1900 and 1910, continued to sell several models of his cineograph projector (center), including the “Marvel” (left). When he first began making films in 1897, he billed his operation as the “World’s Largest Manufacturer of Life Movies” and, as you can see from the sign over the door in the photo on the right, carried the motto over to the chain of Cineograph theaters that opened between 1899 and 1908. The luxurious façade of the theater, though contrasting with Lubin’s low-price strategy and appeal to lower-class audiences, reflected his penchant for heavily promoting every product in his fully integrated product line.

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