THROUGHOUT THE 1930s, THE ENTERTAINMENT industry trade journal Variety published extensive information on the North American exhibition market in each of its weekly issues. The ‘Pictures’ section of Variety included weekly box-office reports from as many as 200 cinemas in 30 cities. 1 The cinemas included were mainly ‘first-run’ venues with a large seating capacity, but there were also some smaller, second-run and specialty cinemas. The reports were organized by city, and they provided general comments on the trading conditions, audience preferences and promotional strategies seen in each city during the previous week, as well as more specific reports from a selection of the city’s cinemas, indicating the box-office results for the week, and listing the items on each cinema’s programme. In the 1930s, the standard running time for a cinema programme was just under three hours, and programmes could include one or two feature films, a live stage performance, cartoons, newsreels, short films, as well as ‘bank nights’ or ‘giveaways’. 2 Variety’s comments on these programmes would consider if one half of a double feature was regarded as a greater attraction than the other, whether the stage show interested audiences more than the film, or if in fact it was the bank night or a newsreel that drew the crowds. The overwhelming impression given by the reports is that the cinemagoing experience was seldom if ever limited to a single film in this era. Rather, the cinema offered a diverse range of attractions and entertainment forms, in which a single feature film might be a secondary or even an incidental consideration.