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Thomas InceHollywood's Independent Pioneer$
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Brian Taves

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813134222

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813134222.001.0001

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The Prescient Failure

The Prescient Failure

(p.89) 6 The Prescient Failure
Thomas Ince

Brian Taves

University Press of Kentucky

On June 18, 1915, the New York Times reported the plan of Harry E. Aitken, president of Mutual Film, to create a chain of theaters stretching across the country devoted to presenting movies at a charge of $2 for the best seats. In addition to leasing a chain of theaters, Aitken's new company, Triangle, would engage many stage stars, and conquer foreign lands on behalf of American motion picture making. The New York Motion Picture Corp. was largely bought out by Triangle. Aitken went to Wall Street and secured $4 million in capital, planning to make movies through the unit system with three vice presidents of production, representing the pinnacle of production as well as a range of talent. He signed D. W. Griffith, Mack Sennett, and Thomas Ince as art directors, directors general to make the pictures, each producing independently rather than directing, but releasing through Triangle. Film historians tend to valorize Ince's work for New York Motion Picture Corp. and Triangle as the effort of a pioneer. Ince felt he had allowed himself to become too prolific at Triangle, losing the standard of quality to which he wanted his name attached, and so now concentrated less on the boardroom and more on direct creative supervision. His Triangle experience set the pattern for the remainder of his career, as he struggled to achieve independence combined with guaranteed distribution; he would find the same difficulties with Adolph Zukor's Paramount–Artcraft, and once more when Associated Producers was absorbed by First National.

Keywords:   Thomas Ince, New York Motion Picture Corp, Triangle, Harry E. Aitken

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