Big Business, watching its scientists in the research laboratories, foresees an early solution of puzzling television problems. With the solution, it is predicted, will come the television theatre.
The tremendous struggle for the Fox film and theatre interests, it was asserted, was motivated by the impending sensational upheaval predicted for the introduction of television, and not by any desire of Wall Street to enter the motion picture production business.
Television, according to definite and extensive information, is not to be permitted to leap out of hand by the big interests as did radio.
Television will be made to pay its way, competing when perfected with the present legitimate stage and the talking pictures as leading entertainment purveyor to the masses.
This is no guessing contest solution but the definite scheme of big business groups, representing great electrical concerns, financial institutions and powerful theatre chain operators.
From the production studios of Hollywood and New York to the tremendous theatre chain facilities operating under the trade-marks of Fox, Paramount-Publix, Warner Bros. and R-K-O, must be broadcast the entertainment of the future, for unless the solution of handling and controlling television is put into operation, Big Business faces a depreciation in its great land, building and equipment holdings far greater than the financial burdens imposed by the transfer from silent to talkie methods and more sudden than the decline of the speaking stage, and almost inconceivable in its economic effects.
It is recognized that television cannot be withheld for long, and if telvision were to be unleashed as was radio, thrown on the air for he who possesses a rented, borrowed or owned radio set to receive, the theatre industry must inevitably suffer.
If it were made available to all broadcasters, hundreds of theatres would be forced into darkness, transforming to worthless paper the securities of the theatrical industry and making radio-television the undisputed, preeminent entertainment medium.
An English method of broadcasting television has been a practical fact for some time. American methods, designed in the research laboratories of the big interests, have been developed along different principles to avoid the necessity of paying royalties to foreign inventors, and also, it is claimed, made as complicated as possible in order to keep its operation under the control of the major leaguers.
The A. T. & T. method is now completed to the point of practical demonstration, and the General Electric is said to be perfected to the point of getting it into the tube of the receiving equipment. But matters have been complicated by a German inventor who, it is revealed, has reduced the American methods to the point of such utter simplicity that construction of television reception equipment is as easy as the making of the old crystal sets used to be.
The keenest minds of the country are now concentrated on this television problem. The magnitude of the changes to be wrought by it are almost beyond the power of present human conception.
What it will mean to the professional performer is something that can only be conjectured. It may mean the centralizing of entertainment production to such a point that unemployment will be even greater than it is now. On the other hand it may mean such an impetus to production and such a widening of demand that it will be necessary to keep a continuous flow of new entertainment on tap day and night, providing increased employment and wider opportunities.
Whatever the exact nature of the development, however, it is true beyond all argument that the changes brought about on the entertainment map during the past fifteen years will be made to appear insignificant in the face of the sweeping changes now on the threshold of the industry.