Non-Theatrical

Items in Collection

Non-Theatrical

By Kallan Benjamin and David Pierce

The educational possibilities of motion pictures were recognized early on in the development of film technology. By the 1920s, the "Visual Education" movement was established and extremely active, spurred by the introduction of the cheaper to use, nonflammable 16mm format in 1923. The reuse of existing films for educational purposes and the creation of new films for the classroom were part of a motion picture industry parallel to Hollywood and its productions destined to premiere in a theater. The non-theatrical industry also made films for companies. The hope was that students and employees alike would learn and retain information faster and better by receiving it through the engaging format of moving pictures. The industry peaked during World War II, when films were commissioned for training of factory workers and soldiers, both by industries and by the US government, which did not shy away from subtle—or overt—propaganda.

The development and growth of the educational film movement is well documented in Educational Film Magazine and its successor, The Educational Screen. Business Screen (which later absorbed See & Hear) addressed filmmakers who made sponsored and industrial films and, later, television commercials. Thank you to the Prelinger Library for making all of those journals available.

Also in the non-theatrical genre were films made by individuals, camera clubs, and amateur film societies in the US and UK. Publications like Home Movies and Movie Makers followed the progress of these groups, while also providing technical advice, advertising new and used equipment, and promoting examples of successful amateur films. An important part of the amateur filmmaking movement was the availability of Hollywood films on small gauge formats for home use—catalogs for which are also included in this collection.

Items in Collection

Title Creator Date
16mm film combined catalogU.S. Atomic Energy Commission1966-67Search on LanternClick here to read
16mm film combined catalogU.S. Atomic Energy Commission1972Search on LanternClick here to read

Title Creator Date
16mm Sound-on-Film Motion PicturesFilms Incorporated1936Search on LanternClick here to read

Title Creator Date
1000 and One--the Blue Book of Non-Theatrical FilmsEducational Screen1926Search on LanternClick here to read
1000 and One--the Blue Book of Non-Theatrical FilmsEducational Screen1927Search on LanternClick here to read
1000 and One--the Blue Book of Non-Theatrical FilmsEducational Screen1930Search on LanternClick here to read
1000 and One--the Blue Book of Non-Theatrical FilmsEducational Screen1935Search on LanternClick here to read