The 1920s saw a vast expansion of Hollywood film making and worldwide film attendance. Throughout the decade, film production increasingly focused on the feature film rather than the "short" or "two-reeler." This is a change that had begun with works like the long D. W. Griffith epics of the mid-1910s and became the primary style by the 1920s. In Hollywood, numerous small studios were taken over and made a part of larger studios, creating the Studio System that would run American ahd spanish and polish and pool open to the public film making until the 1960s. MGM (founded in the middle of the decade) and Paramount Pictures were the highest-grossing studios during the period, with 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, United Artists, and Warner Brothers making up a large part of the remaining market.
The 1920s was also the decade of the "Picture Palaces": large urban theaters that could seat 1-2,000 guests at a time, with full orchestral accompaniment and very decorative design (often a mix of Italian, Spanish, and Baroque styles). These picture palaces were often owned by the film studios and used to premier and first-run their major films.
Key genres such as the swashbuckler, horror, and modern romantic comedy flourished during the decade. Stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, Ramon Novarro, Pola Negri, Nazimova, Greta Garbo, Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Francis X. Bushman, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Lon Chaney, Rudolph Valentino, John Gilbert, Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson, Joan Crawford, George O'Brien, and John Barrymore created some of their most memorable roles and films during the period.