Motion Picture Story Magazine would mention again and again that, contrary to some naysayers, the photoplay was good for you and could help people make the right decision. It wasn’t merely entertainment; photoplay was there to make you think. Here’s a good example of this matter, from the January 1912 issue.
A Moving Christmas Sermon
By Anna Phillips See
‘Twas lonely in the city street,
Tho throngs were passing to and fro
On Christmas eve, when a country lad
Looked for some homelike place to go.
A Picture Theater drew him in,
And he gazed, surprised, on a well-known scene,
A Christmas gathering at the farm,
For a country play was on the screen,
Where the absent son, returned at last,
Filled his gray-haired father’s heart with joy,
While his loving mother laughed and cried
As she clasped once more her long-lost boy.
Tears dimmed the eyes of the country lad,
Yet he had a vision of far away,
Of the little home where he was reared,
And his father and mother, old and gray,
Who longed to have some word from him,
Who longed to see his well-loved face;
The boy felt a pang of real remorse,
And rising quickly left the place.
When rose the sun on Christmas day,
It brighter shone than e’er before
On the little cottage at the farm,
For the lad stood at his father’s door.