DOUBLE BILLING

   Double billing, or presenting a double feature, was the common practice of movie houses throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Prior to this, in the silent era, the standard bill for all films, including Westerns, would be a feature (of various lengths) accompanied by a comedy short and perhaps a newsreel. Double bills usually consisted of a feature-length film at the top of the bill and a B movie (whether Western or not) at the bottom. As double billing became standard, a new market for low-budget Westerns opened, and small independent producers began developing quickly made, lowbudget B Westerns. Double billing declined rapidly by the 1950s and virtually disappeared by the 1960s, thus closing the market for inexpensive cinema Westerns. Fortunately for the small producers, television supplied a new market as of the 1960s.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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