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FRIDAY, JULY 5: TALKIESProfile America —
Friday, July 5th.
Most movie buffs know the first film with a partial soundtrack was "The Jazz Singer," with superstar Al Jolson. But not too many can name the first movie with a full-length soundtrack, which opened on this date in
New York in 1928. It was "The Lights of
New York," about the murder of a crime boss, a film which has faded into obscurity. After "The Jazz Singer" stunned the country, movie studios scrambled to change over from silent films to what were then called the "talkies." It was a technical revolution that completely changed the making and viewing of movies, as you may have heard. In 1928, Americans went to the movies an average of about twice a week. Now, we average a little over four films a year in a theater. You can find more facts about America's people, places and economy from the American Community Survey at
Sources: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 400 Statistical Abstract of
the United States 2012, t. 1243
Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at
http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau