RKO Pictures

RKO (radio Keith Orpheum) Pictures is one of the oldest still operating US-American production companies for cinema - and television films.

Table of contents


establishment and ascent

RKO went out to the film rental business film Booking Office OF America ( FBO ) in the year 1929 out of the union of the theatre company Keith Albee Orpheum ( KAO), the American arm of the French film company Pathé Frères and parts the radios corporation OF America (RCA).
Relevant wire-puller of the reestablishment was Joseph Kennedy, which showed large interest in a consolidation of the recent film industry. It possessed not only the film rental business FBO, but also the US-American division of Pathé. When it became 1927 the principal shareholder of KAO, it induced the there managing director to the resignation and introduced so the fusion.
The broadcasting company RCA saw a possibility, their Tonfilm with the new society - technology (develops and the name RCA Photophone) better to marked out and involved itself therefore at the fusion. The name radio Pictures decreases/goes back to the participation of RCA.
Already at the beginning of the 1930er brought RKO out of about 40 films per year, which until 1940 of roll Disney Productions were driven out. For the production of the films under the direction of Errol Leslie of Sanders a Filmstudio under the name RKO Studio club one created.
First of RKO produced film, Syncopation became a large financial success and broke all records at New Yorker Hippodrome the theatre. With this and to further successes RKO could take already soon many star of the film industry under contract, among them Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Orson Welles, Johnny white Mueller, Robert Mitchum, bed Davis, Mary Pickford, franc Capra, John Ford, George Cukor, Douglas fair bank and Alfreds Hitchcock.
By RKO film classical authors were produced such as Fantasia, Bambi, King Kong and the white Mrs., Citizen Kane, suspicion, the Glöckner of Notre Dame, the gloss of the house Amberson, are not not beautiful the life?, The best years of our life, rebellion in Sidi Hakim and many the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - musical.


the stock majority at RKO was bought to fall and comeback by the billionaire Howard Hughes for one million US Dollar, whose sense of business lacking and (often disturbing) interference drove the company into current productions however to the edge of the bankruptcy. Only 1955 sold to Hughes its portion for 25 million US Dollar to the mixing company general of animals and Rubber company, which was interested by RKO however mainly in the film existence and which production department two years later at Desilu Productions of far sold. The film library was led starting from 1958 by general animals and Rubber under the name RKO general.
Into the 1970ern RKO developed a chain of local radio - and television stations , which had to again sell her however into the 80ern on pressure of the FCC under large losses. At the end of this decade RKO before from stood.
The actor married couple Dina Merrill and Ted Hartley bought 1989 RKO and saved it thereby from the locking. Under its guidance the film production was again taken up.

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