Cop in the hood digs up this great nugget from 1911:

The demoralizing character of some of the moving picture shows, says the New Jersey Law Journal, continues to be exemplified by proceedings from time to time in our local and county criminal courts. One of the latest instances was a case which came before Judge Case, of the Somerset County courts, where a bright little fellow of nine years of age was arraigned before the judge for truancy and for incorrigibility. The prosecutor informed the court that the root of the boy's misconduct was the moving picture show, and the counsel for the boy stated that the offender had been a good child at home and obedient until he developed the passion for attending moving picture shows.

The account of the case then goes on to say: "When the boy was commanded to stand up before Judge Case he burst into tears. Judge Case called him to his seat behind the bar and talked to him kindly, after which he announced that he would place him in charge of Probation Officer Osbourn for three years. In closing his remarks Judge Case said that the moving picture shows were undoubtedly the most demoralizing force in the country to-day. The pictures had a great fascination for even adults, and the graphic portrayals of holdups, robberies, and of immoral scenes and characters, made a lasting impression on the minds of children that were demoralizing in the extreme. Judge Case said that the court would expect the law relating to moving picture shows to be strictly obeyed in the county."

Heh. "Moving Picture Show." One of the great thrills of reading the old slave oral histories, is the sense among the slave that the "talking pictures" were ruining black youth. With due respect to the slaves, these would be the youth that launched the civil rights movement.

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