The cinema is now a very popular amusement, and even the smallest town has now its “picture theatre.” In fact, it is more popular than the regular theatres, and is the resort of millions of people nightly in all countries. Long stories, grave and gay, comic sketches, plays, public shows, real events almost any kind of entertainment, are produced in pictures by the cinema. The film of one piece is often miles long, and takes hours to show. The production of these films has now become a huge business; and a great film costs thousands of pounds to produce. Take a Shakespearean play, or a story representing scenes in Africa, India, or the Wild West of America.
A company of actors and actresses has to be maintained to act the parts. The whole company may have to go to a foreign country, like Africa, so that they can play the piece in the actual surroundings; weeks of practice and rehearsals have to be gone through before the piece is perfect; and then the whole has to be photographed as it is played, and the film developed. Cinema acting has now become a distinct profession; and popular actors like Charlie Chaplin Raj Kapoor Sanjeev Kumar, Amitabh Bacchan, Shahrukh Khan draw colossal crowds and princely salaries. The cinema is not only a source of amusement; it is being used as a valuable help to education. Films illustrating the growth of plants, wild animals in their natural surroundings, the people and scenery of different countries, historical events, etc.
, are sued in the teaching of botany, natural history, geography and history. And at the “Picture palaces” people who cannot afford to travel have the scenery of foreign lands and the customs of their inhabitants, brought vividly before their eyes.