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Vitaphone System Vitaphone System
by The Ovi Team
2023-08-02 07:00:25
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vita01_400August 2nd 1926; John Barrymore and Mary Astor starred in the first showing of the Vitaphone System. The system was the combining of picture and sound for movies. The Vitaphone was a sound-on-disc system developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories and Western Electric. The system was first embraced by the Warner Brothers and over 100 short subjects were produced at the Warner Brothers-First National Studios in the mid 1920s. The cumbersome equipment, used to produce and show the product, did not create a demand for more talking films and the inconsistent quality of the synchronized sound system often produced unintentional laughter from audiences. The first major success was the World Premiere of DON JUAN at the Warner Brothers Theatre in New York City on August 6, 1926.

The film program was treated as a legitimate concert hall presentation with eight short Vitaphone films starring the "greatest galaxy" of performing artists of the day, including Metropolitan Opera tenor Giovanni Martinelli, violin virtuosos Mischa Elman and Efrem Zimbalist, and Al Jolson singing "Mammy" and "April Showers." To round out this introductory programme, Warner Brothers selected their greatest star and biggest feature to date, JOHN BARRYMORE in DON JUAN. The film features the first synchronized musical soundtrack - with sound effects. No dialogue! The result was a thunderous ovation for the new Vitaphone process and the sound film.




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