Photo caption: Set construction
In 1987, one of the busiest years for the studios in recent history, there were 135 features. On the other hand, independents released 380. This transfer of work from the studios to the independents had a major impact on Alliance employment.
While it lasted, the studio system had a direct and powerful effect on the Alliance. The large number of films released in the 1930s and 1940s required a huge number of movie theatres, employing many thousands of IA projectionists. Film exchange workers also swelled in numbers during the studio years, as did lab workers.
These were years of great wealth for the studios. In fact, the movie industry was one of the few in North America that did not immediately feel the effects of the Great Depression. Even when economic difficulties hit, the movies were able to bounce back within a few years.