1913 censors frown on motion picture at Ye Liberty


POSTED: Sunday, May 03, 2009

”;Back in the Day,”; appearing every Sunday in this space, takes a look at articles that ran on this date in history in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaii's oldest continuously published newspaper. The items will appear verbatim, so don't blame us today for yesteryear's bad grammar.


Insisting that “;Cell No. 13,”; the picture shown at Ye Liberty theater to which objection has been expressed in no uncertain terms by a number of persons, is objectionable because it presents an immoral plot without carrying the plot to a logical conclusions and showing the inevitable and terrible result of such immorality.

A.F. Cooke this morning condemned the picture strongly. “;My objection to the 'Cell No. 13,'”; said Cooke, who is chairman of the law and order committee, Civic Federation, “;is that only half of the truth of the picture is shown. The circumstances leading up to the vice, the suggestive circumstances are revealed, but the moral, the inevitable end of vice in suffering and punishment, is not shown.”;

Of the considerable number of men and women asked by the management to attend the presentation of the picture yesterday afternoon, Mrs. U. Thompson, Mrs. E.W. Jordan and Mrs. A.G. Smith said this morning that they denounced the film as immoral and suggestive.

“;The picture certainly is not of the kind that should be shown in Honolulu,”; Mrs. Thompson said. “;I believe in moving picture because when properly censored, they are instructive and educational; but surely great harm is done when we permit immoral and suggestive pictures to be presented. I believe that a board of censorship should be appointed to pass on all pictures before they are presented to the public. This action seems to me to be necessary and to afford the only solution of the problem.”;