The Old Hollywood Times is a web-based newspaper focused on the films and events of Old Hollywood. Articles are published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of a given film or news story, and visitors can track film history through tags and our archives.
While our social media content and article titles appear in the present tense as though they are from the 1940s, all articles are written in the past tense, looking at the lasting legacy of these films 75 years later.
We hope that by showing you how everything happened in real-time we can provide a better understanding of the way this industry operated day-to-day.
Q: I’m still confused—is this website just reprinting old news articles?
No—though the headlines and social media postings are written as if it’s 1942, the articles themselves are completely original pieces written from a modern perspective.
Q: Where do you get your dates from?
A: Our primary resource for determining the release date of a given film is the AFI Catalog of Feature Films. When the information provided there isn’t specific enough, other resources are consulted. These include newspapers, IMDB, and Wikipedia, from which the most consistently listed date is used. Often, we settle on the New York release date, as that is usually the easiest to verify from multiple sources. Bear in mind that most films were not released wide on one day the way they are today, they functioned more like limited independent releases do now, starting in the big cities and expanding out slowly throughout the country.
Q: Do you cover every film released?
A: No—with the number of lower budget B-pictures churned out by both the majors and smaller studios, the amount of work it would take to find and cover every single film released would be a bit out of our reach. We do our best to cover a wide range of films, however, so although we may not review every Roy Rogers film or Andy Hardy entry, we do our best to include them in the discussion where applicable.
Q: Where is your financial data from?
The majority of the financial data we have is for Warner Brothers, RKO, and MGM, all of which come from studio ledgers printed in the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television. If the data is for any other studio, that has come from an independent source, most likely a biography or studio history.
Q: Are your articles fact-checked?
A: Whenever someone writes about Old Hollywood, it’s a struggle to separate the truth and the myths that have been repeated so much that they have seemingly become truths. I can’t really express this better than Otto Friedrich does in the introduction to his seminal book City of Nets.
“Remember that Hollywood people lived and still live in a world of fantasy, and they are accustomed to making things up, to fibbing and exaggerating, and to believing all their own fibs and exaggerations. Remember, too, that they all had press agents who made things up, and that fan-magazine writers made things up, and that ghostwriters still make things up, and that the celebrities who sign these concoctions no longer remember very well what really happened long ago.”
Q: Can I get involved?
A: We’re always looking for people interested in writing, editing, researching, and more, so head over to our contact page and let us know what you’d be interested in doing.
Q: Why does Amazon look different when you link to it?
A: We are part of the Amazon Associate program. That means that whenever you click on a link on one of our pages that takes you to an Amazon.com page, and you buy the product, we get a percentage. This is, to us, one of the best ways to feature advertising – we would be linking to these same products on Amazon without this product, so nothing about the experience is changed for the reader.