This book analyzes the career of film exhibitor and radio broadcaster, Samuel Lionel “Roxy” Rothafel (1882–1936), between the years 1908 and 1935. It shows how Roxy did not merely project motion pictures to audiences but presented unitary texts that extended well beyond film exhibition and formed the theoretical basis of his work in broadcasting. This intervention in the nascent field of radio and its programmatic forms led to his development of the variety show format, which he pioneered and promoted over the air. The book also examines Roxy' unique role during World War I as both an exhibitor and a producer of pro-war films and stage shows; his position as one of America's most popular and influential interwar broadcasters; his national stardom and its implications for Jewish visibility and assimilation; and his work in converging film, broadcasting, and music publishing and recording.
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