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Introduction of sound created a box office bonanza, but problems as well

Photo caption: A production photo from the 1929 film The Virginian, starring Gary Cooper (mounted on horseback), shows the difficulty of getting action shots on location.

Source: The Museum of Modern Art (New York)

In 1927, movie attendance was estimated at 60 million.  By 1929, that number had soared to 110 million.

The cost of sound equipment and installation took a toll on independent theatre owners, who responded by firing union projectionists.  In some cities, lockouts escalated into major strikes.

As frustrations mounted, some theatres were bombed.  Eleven people in Los Angeles were arrested, giving anti-union forces in that city another weapon in their fight to destroy organized labor.

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