Movies Way Back When: Silent Movies and Mood Music
By Betsy J. Green
As silent movies became longer and more complex, so did the music and sound effects that cinemas used. In 1915, a $5,000 "photoplayer" was installed in one of the movie theaters on State Street.
The photoplayer ad boasted that it included "player piano, reed organ, pipes, drums, cymbals, bells, wind siren, locomotive whistle, auto horn, horses' hoofs, castanets, tambourines, etc."
The photoplayer here was shipped from Los Angeles in three pieces, and measured 17 feet wide.