Today in NC State History: NC State welcomes Hollywood to campus

December 11, 2014
By Chris Saunders

historyIconThe Leazar Literary Society has been a part of campus life at NC State since its inception in 1889, standing at the ready to debate topics like the merits of a particular art form.

In fact, in 1929, the club’s men took one of their debates about film national when they submitted to “newspapers around the country a list of eight alleged defects in motion pictures dealing with college life,” according to The Technician.

And it was on this day 85 years ago that Hollywood answered the criticism. Lupton A. Wilkinson, secretary to the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, came to campus to face the Leazar Society.

The 1929-30 Leazar Literary Society.

The 1929-30 Leazar Literary Society.

Wilkinson addressed, for instance, the claim the club had made alleging that college movies were not being made by college men. He offered a substantial list of films whose directors, writers, actors and actresses were college graduates. “College pictures are made by college folks,” he told the Leazar Society, “and most college pictures are made on the campus and acted out by students of Southern California.”

Along with his defense of Tinseltown, Wilkinson also offered a bleak fate for the future of the genre. “Mr. Wilkinson predicted that inside a year the college picture likely would be a thing of the past,” The Technician read. “The public is fickle in its demands, and it is the public that governs the plots, he concluded.”

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