Vintage original 4 x 8.25 in. US exhibitor's circular from PATHÉ EXCHANGE, INC. from 1917.
Issued to the various theatre exhibitor's via US Mail, this circiular opens to an advertisement for Pathé Program No. 178 for release the week of December 23, 1917, which consisted of the following films as listed by genre:
- Serial (Marion Davies in Runaway Romany)
- Serial (Doris Kenyon in The Hidden Hand)
- Serial (Mollie King with Creighton Hale and Leon Bary in The Seven Pearls)
- Comedy (Harold Lloyd in Bashful)
- Travel (The Pearl of the Atlantic; Belle Island; Picturesque Brittany; Strange Fresh Water Insects)
- Cartoon and Educational (International Cartoon and Educational) and
- News (Hearst-Pathé News No. 104 and No. 105)
The back cover lists various other films ("Have You Booked These?") along with a list of the various Pathé Exchanges throughout the US with other information as well. It is in near-fine condition. This circular provides an interesting insight into how the distributors "packaged" various types of films into a weekly program.
*"Pathé Exchange, Inc., commonly known as Pathé, was an American film production and distribution company, largely of Hollywood's silent era. Known for its groundbreaking newsreel and wide array of shorts, it grew out of the American division of the major French studio Pathé Frères, which began distributing films in the United States in 1904. Ten years later, it produced the enormously successful The Perils of Pauline, a twenty-episode serial that came to define the genre.
The American operation was incorporated as Pathé Exchange toward the end of 1914 and spun off as an independent entity in 1921; the Merrill Lynch investment firm acquired a controlling stake. The following year, it released Robert J. Flaherty's groundbreaking documentary Nanook of the North. Other notable feature releases included the controversial drama Sex (1920) and director/producer Cecil B. DeMille's smash-hit biblical epic The King of Kings (1927).
During much of the 1920s, Pathé distributed the shorts of comedy pioneers Hal Roach and Mack Sennett and innovative animator Paul Terry. For Roach and then his own production company, acclaimed comedian Harold Lloyd starred in many feature and short releases from Pathé and the closely linked Associated Exhibitors. Beginning in 1927, the studio changed hands several times in quick succession, first coming under the control of the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chain, then financier and Hollywood maestro Joseph P. Kennedy. Under Kennedy, Pathé contracted with RCA Photophone for conversion to sound film and took over the assets of Producers Distributing Corporation, DeMille's former outlet.
Finally, in January 1931, the studio was acquired by the much larger RKO Pictures. It continued making features as the semiautonomous division RKO Pathé into 1932, when all feature production was subsumed under the "RKO Radio Pictures" banner; the RKO Pathé unit and brand were maintained for short subjects and the trademark newsreel. The latter was purchased in 1947 from RKO by Warner Bros., which rebranded it Warner Pathé News. RKO Pathé, which in its final decade produced industrials and TV commercials along with theatrical shorts, closed its doors in 1956; Warners ended the newsreel the same year.Pathé Exchange had survived as a small holding company for the few assets, including an East Coast film lab and a home-movie operation, that RKO had declined to acquire; the business was subsequently reorganized, first as Pathé Film Corporation and ultimately as Pathé Industries.
The company reentered the movie production and distribution business for nearly a decade beginning in 1942 with the purchase of Poverty Row studio Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC) and Pathé's subsequent establishment of Eagle-Lion Films. Among the historically significant releases from this period are the film noir Detour (1945, PRC) and the science-fiction film Destination Moon (1950, Eagle-Lion). By 1951, Pathé Industries was out of the motion picture business. In 1961, its successor company, the America Corporation, briefly revived the brand with a distribution subsidiary, Pathé-America. It was sold the following year to Astor Pictures and soon dissolved."