Between 1910 and 1912, eighty Australian films were released. In 1913, only seventeen films were released. Ten years later production had dropped to only eight films. A similar pattern of boom and bust occurred in the 1930s and 1940s. The first boom ended in 1912, when the major distributors and exhibitors merged into one company, Australasian Films. The second boom ended in 1946 for similar reasons, when the management of Australia's largest and most profitable studio, Cinesound, decided that investing in local production was too risky and thenceforth concentrated on the distribution and exhibition of American and British films. This decision consigned the Australian feature film industry to a slow death in the 1950s and 1960s, and it was not until a profound cultural and political change in the late 1960s and early 1970s, along with the establishment of a viable infrastructure, that the Australian cinema regained its audience.

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