Love Affair with the Movies

Love Affair with the Movies (HM2EML)

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N 34° 1.37', W 118° 17.179'

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—USC — University of Southern California —

The curtain first rose on USG's distinguished contributions to cinema on February 6, 1929, when Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., ascended the stage in Bovard Auditorium and delivered the opening lecture for the nation's first university course in film. The 2-unit course, "Introduction to Photoplay," was presented in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and in addition to Fairbanks, it featured such celebrated guest lecturers as D. W. Griffith, Ernst Lubitsch, Irving Thalberg and William DeMille.

Enrollment in that first class was limited to 50 students, but the following year, a department of cinematography was formally established, and in 1935, the university awarded its first bachelor's degree in cinema. By the early 1950s, USC's cinema program had become so influential that its alumni began to garner a steady string of Academy Award nominations.
Since then, scarcely a year has passed when at least one USC cinema alumnus has not been nominated for an Academy Award. At the
same time, the ranks of
the university's celebrated
alumni have swelled to
include such luminaries as
Ron Howard, James Ivory,
George Lucas, John
Singleton, David Wolper
and Robert Zemeckis. As of 1997, USC alumni held key creative and/or production positions in nine of the 12 all-time highest-grossing films.


the early 1980s, many of USC's alumni, now well-known film and television professionals, joined some of the most renowned figures in Hollywood to provide the nation's first film school with the facilities it needed to retain its
position of prominence. George Lucas made a lead gift toward the
five-building cinema-television complex, with other gifts coming from Johnny Carson, the
Cecil B. DeMille Trust,
the Harold Lloyd Foundation, Marcia Lucas, Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, 20th Century-Fox, the Warner Brothers/Ladd Company and Robert Wise. Today, USC cinema-television students use these facilities to produce the equivalent of 20 feature-length films each year, and the School of Cinema-Television has endowments named for Alma and Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, Jack Nicholson and Mary Pickford. And the list of USC's credits continues to grow.
Year Placed1998
Placed ByUSC History Project, USC General Alumni Association. Sponsored by USC Trustee Bill and Marie Allen
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, February 28th, 2019 at 10:01am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 381239 N 3765433
Decimal Degrees34.02283333, -118.28631667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 1.37', W 118° 17.179'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 1' 22.2" N, 118° 17' 10.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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