People active in the silent era and people who keep the silent era alive.
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Born 7 January 1873 in Ricse, Hungary.
Died 10 June 1976 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Married Lottie Kaufman.
Adolph Zukor emigrated to the United States of America in 1889, at the age of 16, settling in New York and began work in an upholstery shop and later at a furrier. The ambitious young man started his own fur business, which soon grew substantially. In 1903, cousin Max Goldstein proposed a loan for a new business investment he was interested in Mitchell Mark’s chain of Edison entertainment parlors, which included arcade phonographs and Kinetoscope motion picture viewers. The investment went well, and Zukor and Goldstein soon opened their own arcades. The business model changed from arcades to nickelodeon theaters, and business itself expanded to several locations.
In 1912, Adolph Zukor took advantage of an opportunity to become the American distributor of the latest motion picture production starring the legendary stage actress, Sarah Bernhardt. When the French production needed additional money to complete the film, Zukor became a coproducer of the Les amours de la Reine Elisabeth (1912). Zukor’s company was established to distribute the high-profile film but, given the business motto “Famous Players in Famous Plays,” Famous Players Film Company was soon producing its own American productions from popular plays. The company’s earliest productions were self-distributed on the States Rights market, but Zukor soon (by 1914) established distribution through W.W. Hodkinson’s Paramount Pictures Corporation.
On 11 September 1915, the Famous Players Film Company suffered a major studio fire, losing film negatives, prints, and all footage from unreleased films in various stages of production, including Mary Pickford’s original production of The Foundling (1915). Out of necessity, Adolph Zukor teamed with another successful Paramount production company, the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company, Incorporated, and circa October 1915 formed the merged production company, Famous Players-Lasky Company. By 1916, Zukor had established enough clout, through stock purchases, to oust Hodkinson during the 13 July 1916 board meeting of Paramount Pictures Corporation and place Hiram Abrams in its presidency. Almost immediately, on 19 July 1916, Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky formed the reorganized Famous Players-Lasky Corporation.