RKO Radio Pictures

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RKO can be traced to a Milwaukee nickelodeon (1909); after a series of mergers it became the nucleus of Mutual Film Corp.; in 1928, it emerged as Radio-Keith-Orpheum and was involved in production, distribution, and exhibition; the studio employed many of the top creative talents of the 1930s and 40s and was responsible for film classics such as Citizen Kane, Bringing up baby, Suspicion, Gay divorcee, and The magnificent Ambersons; additionally RKO was the distributor of many of Samuel Goldwyn, Walt Disney, and other independently produced films; Howard Hughes acquired controlling interest in RKO (1948), purchased all outstanding stock in the early 1950s, and eventually sold to General Tire where motion pictures were abandoned for broadcasting and cable TV; the studio was closed and the real estate sold to Desilu in the 1950s.

From the description of Studio collection, 1922-1956. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 41261884

The Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation (RKO) began in the late 1920's with a merger between the Film Booking Office of America and the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chain. Three years later, with the takeover of American Pathe, a major Hollywood production and distribution studio was born. Over the years, production chiefs included David O. Selznick, Merian C. Cooper, George Schaefer, and Dore Schary. Among the memorable motion pictures produced by and /or released through RKO were the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals, early Katharine Hepburn films, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, King Kong, Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion and Notorious, and Orson Welles' Citizen Kane . RKO began its decline when Howard Hughes bought a controlling interest in 1948. In 1955 Hughes sold the company to the General Teleradio Corporation who, in turn, sold the television rights to over seven hundred films. The studio property was purchased by Desilu Productions in 1958.

From the guide to the RKO Radio Pictures, inc. correspondence, 1931-1958, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

The Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation (RKO), one of the major Hollywood production and distribution studios of the 30's and 40's, began in 1928 with a merger between the Film Booking Office of America and the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chain.

In 1931, with the takeover of American Pathe the mergers were complete. Over the years, production chiefs included David O. Selznick, Merian C. Cooper, George Schaefer and Dore Schary. Among the memorable motion pictures produced by or released through RKO were the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals, early Katharine Hepburn films, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, KING KONG, Alfred Hitchcock's SUSPICION and NOTORIOUS, and Orson Welles' CITIZEN KANE.

RKO began its decline when Howard Hughes bought a controlling interest in 1948. In 1955 Hughes sold the company to the General Teleradio Corporation which, in turn, sold the television rights to over seven hundred films. The studio property was purchased by Desilu Productions in 1958.

From the description of RKO Radio Pictures, inc. correspondence, 1931-1958. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122534779

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Kenny, Elizabeth, 1886-1952. Elizabeth Kenny papers, 1862-2001 (bulk 1942-1952). Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Twist, John, 1885-1976. Mimeographed manuscript, ca. 1939. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Maxwell Evarts Perkins correspondence and papers on Thomas Wolfe, 1933-1948. Houghton Library
creatorOf Rockwell, George L., 1890-1978. Papers, 1913-1954. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf Twist, John, 1898-1976. Bombardier, 1942 Sept. 18 / original story by John Twist and Martin Rackin ; screenplay by John Twist. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Hughes, Dorothy B. (Dorothy Belle), 1904-. The fallen sparrow. Part 1 / screenplay by Warren Duff. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
referencedIn Loew's Incorporated. Winchester Theatre Co. vs. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, et al., Transcript and records, 1937-1942. Harvard Law School Library, HLS Library
referencedIn Lewton, Val. Papers, 1924-1982 (bulk 1926-1951). Library of Congress
creatorOf Bailey, Jeff. Son of Sinbad : screenplay, 1953 Apr. 3 / by Jeff Bailey. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Argosy Pictures Corporation. Argosy Pictures Corporation business records, 1939-1958. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953. Papers of Eugene O'Neill [manuscript], 1929 April 20 - June 14. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn United Artists Corporation. Series 6A : Anti-trust cases, 1931-1956. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Records of Keith/Albee, 1890-1952. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Borden, Olive, 1906-1947. Olive Borden papers, 1924-1988. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
referencedIn Walter Snow Papers., undated, 1926-1973. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
referencedIn Lewton, Val. Papers of Val Lewton, 1924-1982 (bulk 1926-1951). Library of Congress
creatorOf Columbia Pictures Corporation,. Miami Drive-In Theatre, Inc. v. Loew's, Inc., et al. Transcripts, United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, 1941-1943. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Haley, Jack, 1899-1979. Autograph agreement with RKO Radio Pictures, Inc., signed : Los Angeles, Calif., 1945 May 10. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Sayre, Joel, 1900-1979. Shooting Star : (Annie Oakley) : typescript, 1935 Aug. 15. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1940-1943. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Rivkin, Allen, 1903-1990. Farmer's daughter, [1947]. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Columbia Pictures Corporation,. Miami Drive-In Theatre, Inc. v. Loew's, Inc., et al. Transcripts, United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, 1941-1943. Harvard Law School Library, HLS Library
referencedIn Photographs of motion pictures and television programs, 1915-1999. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Houston, Norman. Nevada : screenplay, 1944 June 9 / by Norman Houston ; based on the novel by Zane Grey. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf RKO Radio Pictures, inc. correspondence, 1931-1958 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Elizabeth Kenny papers., 1862-2001 (bulk 1942-1952). Minnesota Historical Society
creatorOf Walker, Joset, 1902-1999. Joset Walker fashion design scrapbooks, 1932-1988, (bulk 1932-1959). New School for Social Research
creatorOf Sherwood, Robert E. (Robert Emmet), 1896-1955. Abe Lincoln in Illinois, 1939 June 28 / by Robert E. Sherwood. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Salt, Waldo. Rachel : screenplay, 1947 July 28 / by Waldo Salt. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf RKO Radio Pictures, inc. RKO Radio Pictures, inc. correspondence, 1931-1958. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Wallace, Inez, 1888-1966. Inez Wallace and Frank Hubbell papers, 1891-1969. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
creatorOf RKO Radio Pictures, inc. Studio collection, 1922-1956. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn Val Lewton Papers, 1924-1982, (bulk 1926-1951) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Los Angeles Paving Company. Records of Los Angeles Paving Company, 1903-1974, (bulk 1912-1964). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Felton, Earl. Target : screen play / by Earl Felton. University of Missouri-Kansas City, Miller Nichols Library; Health Sciences Library; Dental Library
creatorOf Bagni, Gwen. Bangkok : screenplay, 1956 Oct. 4 / by Gwen Bagni and Irwin Gielgud ; based on the novel The bad step by Mark Derby. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf RKO Radio Pictures, inc. Call sheets and shooting schedules, 1934 August 11-15. Natural History Museum Los Angeles County Foundation, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
creatorOf Hogan, Michael. Nurse Edith Cavell : screenplay, [1939?] / by Michael Hogan ; produced and directed by Herbert Wilcox. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Vera Zorina papers, 1910-2001 (inclusive), 1933-2001 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Argosy Pictures Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Atkins, Tommy. person
associatedWith Bagni, Gwen. person
associatedWith Bailey, Jeff. person
associatedWith Borden, Olive, 1906-1947. person
associatedWith Corrigan, Lloyd, 1900-1969. person
associatedWith Davis, Bette, 1908- person
associatedWith Edington, Harry E. person
associatedWith Felton, Earl. person
associatedWith Fonda, Henry, 1905- person
associatedWith Fontaine, Joan, 1917- person
associatedWith Haley, Jack, 1899-1979. person
associatedWith Henreid, Paul. person
associatedWith Hepburn, Katharine, 1907-2003. person
associatedWith Hepburn, Katharine, 1909- person
associatedWith Hilton, James, 1900-1954 person
associatedWith Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899- person
associatedWith Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-1980. person
associatedWith Hogan, Michael. person
associatedWith Holden, William, 1918- person
associatedWith Holt, Tim, 1918-1973. person
associatedWith Houston, Norman. person
associatedWith Kenny, Elizabeth, 1886-1952. person
associatedWith Laughton, Charles, 1899-1962. person
associatedWith Lewton, Val. person
associatedWith Los Angeles Paving Company. corporateBody
associatedWith O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953. person
correspondedWith Perkins, Maxwell E. (Maxwell Evarts), 1884-1947 person
associatedWith Rivkin, Allen, 1903-1990. person
associatedWith Rockwell, George L., 1890-1978. person
associatedWith Runyon, Damon, 1880-1946. person
associatedWith Salt, Waldo. person
associatedWith Sayre, Joel, 1900-1979. person
associatedWith Shaw, Irwin, 1913- person
associatedWith Shaw, Irwin, 1913-1984. person
associatedWith Sherwood, Robert E. (Robert Emmet), 1896-1955. person
associatedWith Sinatra, Frank, 1915- person
associatedWith Sinatra, Frank, 1915-1998. person
associatedWith Sinatra Music Publishing Corporation corporateBody
correspondedWith Snow, Walter. person
associatedWith Stevens, George Casper, 1904- person
associatedWith Twist, John, 1885-1976. person
associatedWith Twist, John, 1898-1976. person
associatedWith United Artists Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Walker, Joset, 1902-1999. person
associatedWith Wallace, Inez, 1888-1966. person
correspondedWith Zorina, Vera. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
Subject
Motion picture studios--United States
Motion pictures--United States--History
Silver streak (Motion picture)
Motion picture actors and actresses
By your leave (Motion picture)
Motion pictures--History
Kentucky kernels (Motion picture)
Motion picture industry
Motion picture studios
Motion pictures--Production and direction
Occupation
Function

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Active 1903

Active 1974

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