I have constantly been a pan of old films and also love to read around the old days of movies, the studio system, etc. I have frequently seen the name of a famous movie studio in Hollywood dubbed "R.K.O." I have actually never watched the name not abbreviated and also have regularly wondered what "R.K.O." was standing for. I hope you will help me v this question I have wondered about for years.

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Why isn"t your column obtainable in the new Orleans Times-Picayune?

Kim Marshall

SDStaff Ken replies:

Kim, that gladdens ol’ Cecil’s black heart that his wisdom is not wasted. Still, if you enjoyed “Return the The straight Dope”, you’ll find that Cecil’s newest compendium of knowledge “The straight Dope speak All”, is now obtainable at much better bookstores.

As come RKO, it’s a story of Hollywood strength brokers, fierce competition, and cinema background wrapped increase in a 3 letter abbreviation. The letters stand for: Radio – Keith – Orpheum. Still mystified? check out on.

A long time ago (actually, in 1928) the Radio copy, group of America (you probably recognize them together RCA) developed a brand-new sound-on-film modern technology for the breakthrough “talkies” just starting to be created in Hollywood. Difficulty was, the existing major film suppliers had chose to go with the completing system developed by west Electric. RCA’s boss, David Sarnoff, wasn’t going come let that stop him. Gift the Ted Turner the his day, he chose if the currently movie studios don’t desire to usage his exorbitant sound system, well, climate he’d start his very own movie company. The bought the film Booking Office movie studio, i m sorry at the time to be a small-time operation, and also the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theatre chain, which had actually fallen on hard times (basically, they were a vaudeville organization, and vaudeville was deader than the dodo in 1928). I quote below from The Encyclopedia the Hollywood:

“With these 2 strokes , RCA, using its Phonofilm system, built a significant film company in 1928 that was ready to capitalize top top the talkie revolution.” In fact, one eagle-eyed reader such together yourself has actually probably viewed the radio tower logo used in countless of the at an early stage RKO films.

During that is 25 year in film production RKO produced countless memorable films, consisting of the Ginger Rogers-Fred Astaire musicals, the at an early stage pictures of Katharine Hepburn, and most famed of all, Orson Welles’s “Citizen Kane.” but the company always struggled financially. It to be bought through Howard Hughes in 1948 and ceased film production in 1953.

As come why the new Orleans Times-Picayune doesn’t bring the directly Dope, some mysteries space too facility for even Cecil come fathom. As far as we know, Cecil is a guy of the Times, and as Picayune as anyone top top the planet, as small Ed have the right to attest.

SDStaff Ken, right Dope science Advisory Board

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