Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Plague of Spanish Influenza -- November 27, 2018

Moving Picture World, 16-November-1918
The 1918 influenza pandemic killed 3-5% of the world's population. It was often called the Spanish Flu because Spain's newspapers were not censored as heavily as those in countries involved in the war. Many cities and states ordered movie theaters to close.

Actor Harold Lockwood was 31 when he died on 19-October-1918.

Moving Picture World, 02-November-1918
"EVERYWHERE the spread of the Spanish influenza is hurting business, even where the city or state authorities have not declared an actual quarantine. In many sections this quarantine seems arbitrary and perhaps a bit unjust, but we have yet to hear of a house manager who has attacked the ruling of the authorities, though some must feel sorely tempted to do so. Most of them have accepted the situation gamely."

Film Daily, 12-November-1918
"Everybody quit work Monday and there was so much peace celebration that I couldn't get a review ready." 

Moving Picture World, 23-November-1918
"WITH few exceptions health authorities in the United States have lifted the ban imposed on motion picture theatres by reason of the inroads of influenza. San Francisco is to remain closed until December 1. Seattle and the northwest generally have extended the embargo on theatres. In North Carolina Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Raleigh were closed at the latest writing, although the remainder of the State is open to picturegoers. Dayton has opened its theatre doors to all but the children. The situation in Illinois shows marked improvement.

"Houses in the Southwest have resumed business to the hearty satisfaction of throngs of picture patrons. Towns situated near cantonments especially have felt the boom. Pennsylvania, where the epidemic was very heavy, has thrown open its doors. The national capital, too, has permitted theatre men to entertain their patrons. The coming of peace, together with the opening of the screen houses, marks a dramatic shift in the business situation facing motion picture men a month ago. There is every indication of a big winter for motion picture theatres."

Moving Picture World, 30-November-1918
"THE gloom cast over the nation by the plague of Spanish influenza is being penetrated by rays of hope and brightness in many sections. That the epidemic is, generally speaking, within control may be accepted as applying to the greater section of the country.

"Several strange features are developing in the news that comes to us from our correspondents. For the first time gauze masks are mentioned — San Francisco opened November 16 with these protectors exacted as necessary to admission.

"In some places, Richmond, Va., in particular, churches are closed, while theatres are allowed to open. In Boston, as a side issue, the demand for Sunday closing of picture theatres is agitated. Showmen in other sections will have a "Sunday closing" fight upon their hands because of the opening the epidemic made for such discussion.

"St. Paul, Minneapolis, and the whole of Minnesota is under strict ban. In St. Paul most drastic regulations have been adopted, the "closed shop" extending to saloons and soda fountains. Kansas City and vicinity are open under restrictions; Greensboro, N.- C, having once been opened, is again closed."

Moving Picture World, 30-November-1918
San Francisco theaters were allowed to reopen on November 16.

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