Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Photoplay began as a short-fiction magazine concerned mostly with the plots and characters of films at the time and was used as a promotional tool for those films. In 1915, Julian Johnson and James Quirk became the editors (though Quirk had been vice-president of the magazine since its inception), and together they created a format which would set a precedent for almost all celebrity magazines that followed. By 1918 the editors could boast a circulation figure of 204,434, the popularity of the magazine fueled by the public's ever increasing interest in the private lives of celebrities. It is because of this that the magazine is credited with inventing celebrity media.
From 1920-1939 and 1944-1968, Photoplay gave out awards. First called Medals of Honor and later, Gold Medals, they were given out for the best movie, most popular male star and most popular female star. Photoplay readers, not critics, voted on the awards which pre-dated the Academy Awards. During the 1940's, the Gallup Poll company ran polls that determined the winners.
Photoplay merged with another fan magazine, Movie Mirror, in 1941; and changed again in 1977, when the name became Photoplay and TV Mirror.
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