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By Matthew Joseph Bruccoli

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7 Nov. Victor Herbert's operetta Naughty Marietta has its premiere at the New York Theatre. 10 Dec. In New York City Ruth St. Denis opens in Egypta, a play that features the modern dances she has based on traditional Eastern dance forms. 24 A M E R I C A N D E C A D E S : 1910-1919 IMPORTANT EVENTS OF THE 1910S Giacomo Puccini's La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West), based on David Belasco's play of the same name, becomes the first opera to have its world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

By 1916 movie attendance had grown to nearly twenty-five million Americans per day. For as little as a nickel (the origin of the term nickelodeon), a person could see two or three "shorts," and by middecade longer movies were also plentiful and affordable. At the same time they were available to nearly everyone, the movies made "stars" of individuals, creating the concept of truly national celebrity. Stars became valuable properties and were, accordingly, well paid. As moviemakers left New York for the better weather and scenic backdrops of California, they created a new geographic center for the American arts — as well as a truly American cultural phenomenon — in Hollywood.

Several American writers who saw the show in Chicago or New York — including poets William Carlos Williams, Harriet Monroe, and Wallace Stevens — were profoundly affected by it and later attributed their own creative inspiration to their exposure to Duchamp, Picasso, Cézanne, and other artists whose works were exhibited in the show. More important, by the time the show ended, a quarter of a million people had seen it, and a lasting interest in modern art, particularly Cubism, had been born in America.

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