Ponsford Kays (1905 - 1968)



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1905 - In the year that Ponsford Kays was born, the first movie theater opened in the United States in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the first theater to show nothing but movies - silent films. Two men, John P. Harris and his brother-in-law Harry Davis, opened the Nickelodeon on Smithfield Street - charging 5 cents for admission. The first day, 450 people watched movies at the new theater - on the second day, more than 1500 people stood in line to get in.

1909 - At the age of only 4 years old, Ponsford was alive when the New York Times published the first movie review. It was a report on D.W. Griffith's movie "Pippa Passes" also called "The Song of Conscience", a silent film. The review said that this work was moving away from "lurid material that attracted the wrath of censors and concerned citizens and toward more respectable ends. The movie was the story of a young female factory worker, on her day off, wandering and singing - thus changing the hearts of those around her towards good.

1910 - At the age of just 5 years old, Ponsford was alive when Angel Island, which is in San Francisco Bay, became the immigration center for Asians entering U.S. It was often referred to as "The Ellis Island of the West". Due to restrictive laws against Chinese immigration, many immigrants spent years on the island.

1930 - At the age of 25 years old, Ponsford was alive when as head of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, William Hays established a code of decency that outlined what was acceptable in films. The public - and government - had felt that films in the '20's had become increasingly risque and that the behavior of its stars was becoming scandalous. Laws were being passed. In response, the heads of the movie studios adopted a voluntary "code", hoping to head off legislation. The first part of the code prohibited "lowering the moral standards of those who see it", called for depictions of the "correct standards of life", and forbade a picture from showing any sort of ridicule towards a law or "creating sympathy for its violation". The second part dealt with particular behavior in film such as homosexuality, the use of specific curse words, and miscegenation.

1968 - In the year of Ponsford Kays's passing, on June 5th, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles by Sirhan after celebrating his win in the California presidential primary. He died the next day at Good Samaritan Hospital.

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Ponsford Kays died in April 1968 at 62 years old. No cause of death has been entered. Ponsford was born on May 3, 1905. There is no information about Ponsford's family or relationships.


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