All about British Movie Magazine Picture Show

Early Movie Magazine from Great Britain 1919-1960

Picture Show was originally published by The Amalgamated Press beginning in 1919. Besides the comprehensive library of images over at Picture Show Online, I learned that Picture Show was issued by Odham’s Press from the early 1930’s through 1960, merging with Film Pictorial in 1939.

*The issues of Picture Show that I had handled at the time I originally wrote this article were from the early to mid 1920’s. All information that follows is based on issues from that period.

Picture Show was 24 pages, printed on newsprint, and actually registered as a newspaper. Bare bones, one-color, these early issues of Picture Show did offer one special frill in each issue with its Art Supplement. The Art Supplement was printed on a slightly higher quality paper — almost slick in appearance compared to the rest of the flat issue. The Art Supplements were in the middle of the issue, easily removed, and usually featured one or two portraits along with several smaller scene photos from a recent release.

Though British in origin, Picture Show actually spent a good deal of its space covering American films and stars. Oh, there was a lot more coverage of British stars than any American publication would give, but besides a regular column titled “Gossip About British Players” and the occasional feature defending British pictures or trying to explain why American film was so much more successful, the listings below show that probably the majority of each issue of Picture Show talked about American film and stars.

Picture Show also published fictionalized accounts of films in each issue just as Motion Picture Story Magazine was doing in America. Each of these issues carried one short story along with an entry from a longer serialized piece. Each fictionalized piece contains a couple of film scenes illustrating it, sometimes with the players identified, other times they are not.

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Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Art Supplement from Picture Show
Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Art Supplement from Picture Show