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Salt Lake City never intended to become a movie capital, and it certainly had no ambitions to rival Hollywood. However, it did have a brief period when production companies came and went, with movie promoters trying to get a foothold on regular fi lm production in the Beehive State.
1 Surviving records mention the Rocky Mountain Moving Picture Company that existed in Salt Lake City in the summer of 1908, making travelogue films of scenic areas in Utah. The announcement of this fi rm was followed by these remarks from the editors of the trade paper Moving Picture World: “The benefi ts that will accrue to Utah and the West, in advertisement through the medium of these pictures, which are to be shown throughout the United States, will be far reaching.
”2 Virtually nothing is known about the longevity of these early companies or the eff ects of their fi lms. What is important is that the editors of this important industry trade publication saw the fi lms as being valuable for drawing people to the state for tourism. If Utah’s experience was consistent with attempts by fi lm companies to establish a presence in other American cities, the precariousness of the moviemaking business guaranteed a high mortality rate,
and these companies quietly went out of business.