17.5 Publicity





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The Seymour Hicks promotional poster was given to me by Ian Green, which basically started me on this page. He then provided me with the other pix as scans - many thanks. The last pic is different - Renée St Cyr, a French film starlet, promoting the Natan 175.


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The first three pix, extracted from a publicity leaflet,  are of particular interest as they date from the time when responsibility for 17.5 in the UK rested with Pathé Pictures. They clearly had a quite specific view of 17.5 as sub-theatrical, serving remote communities, analogous to the way 17.5 developed in France. Users were clearly expected to have large automobiles and chauffeurs to cart the heavy equipment about and no doubt operate it, too. But, of course, the UK was not like France in that a much higher proportion of people lived within range of a commercial cinema. No doubt the unsuitability of the French model in the UK context was part of the reason for the transfer to Pathescope and more emphasis on the home cinema or very small scale operation. As the next 3 pix show, the latter's approach was quite different; the Pathescope Monthly in which pic 6 appeared was very much a mag for the amateur. The pic of the Natan in a French advert shows very clearly the difference between from the UK Talkie.

I like the way brochures etc were produced to such a high standard, with no benefit of CGI, such as above and below. I especially like the stylised Home Talkie of the 1937 catlogue.

Home Talkie Instructions

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 1937 Pathcope catalogue

This had 17.5 on the front cover! Here are a couple of other 17.5 bits.


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17.5 Film Catalogue

Before the Great Software Disaster of 2015, I gave you individual pix of every page of this 17.5 film catlog. Now you have to make do with the covers and a pdf, as it would take ages to upload each pic.


175filmcatlog0001a     175filmcatlog00013a      17.5_catlog.pdf


Rural Programmes

At a film fair in Argenteuil, I acquired a folio-size volume of posters, advertising silent "programmes" (main feature, cartoon or comedy, documentary or Pathé Revue) or packages in which Pathé Rural provided material to the proprietors of the small local 17.5 cinemas in France. This is the first information I have ever seen about French silent 17.5.

There are over 100; here are a few as a taster; there is also a full index. I have now scanned the lot to DVD, although I have deferred cleaning them up to another day/year.You could have a copy for the usual £3 plus postage.

Rural progs0002     Rural Progs0029     Rural Progs0011a     Rural Progs0026     rural progs0030b     Rural Progs0040     rural progs0054a     rural progs0089b     Rural Progs0107     Rural Progs0003


This is more general Pathé stuff, extracted from a lushly-produced 1931/32 brochure, but it can go here rather than with the specifically Rural stuff, especially as there is a nice proj pic.

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Only two years later, times seem to have been much harder, with a much more austere standard of presentation. This is about half the programme, redeemed by the splendid Les Mis pix.

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