When the movies were young (1925)

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252 When the Movies were Young pany, had had on his Executive Committee Felix Kahn, brother of Otto Kahn, and Crawford Livingston. They had built the Rialto and Rivoli Theatres. The Herculean task of financing the "big picture," Mr. Aitken presented to Mr. Kahn, and he genially had agreed to provide the necessary cash—the monetary end was all beautifully set- tled—when the World War entered the arena and Mr. Kahn felt he could not go on. So Mr. Aitken had to finance the picture himself. He financed it to the extent of sixty thousand dollars, which was what "The Birth of A Nation" cost to produce. With legal fees and exploitation, it came to all of one hundred and ten thousand dollars. Mr. Felix Kahn and Mr. Crawford Livingston afterwards offered to help out with fifteen thousand dollars but there were fifteen directors on the executive committee of the Mutual Film, and they over-ruled the fifteen thousand dollars tender, leaving Mr. Aitken as sole financier. Mr. Dixon received two thousand five hundred dollars cash and twenty-five per cent of the profits. He wanted more cash—wasn't so interested in the profits just then. But afterwards he had no regrets. For it happened some- times in later days, when the picture had started out to gather in its millions, that Mr. Dixon casually opening a drawer in his desk, would be greeted by a whopping big check—his interest in "The Birth of A Nation," and one of these times, happening unexpectedly on one such check, he said, "I'm ashamed to take it"—a sentiment that should have done his soul good. Well, Mr. Dixon is one who should have got rich on "The Birth of A Nation," but the one whose genius was responsible for the unparalleled success of the epoch-making picture says he fared like most inventors and didn't get so