FIGURE 6.11

The Peripatetic Attraction

Up until about 1905, the exhibition of films in France was largely the domain of traveling showmen. Equipped with movies and portable projection apparatus, they gave shows in fairground tents and (both in urban and rural areas) in non-permanent theaters like the Théâtre Vignard, which, as you can see, has been erected in front of permanent buildings on a town square. Although they remained a significant market for such producers as Gaumont and Pathé up until World War I, traveling venues began to disappear after 1920, when, for the first time, the majority of French citizens were urban dwellers.

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