In the 1920s, entertainment played an important role in the lives of the American people. This was part of the popular culture during this decade. Many advancements were made in the film industry, radio, literature and sports.
The demand for movies was greater than ever before. Most of the film production took place near Hollywood. By the end of the decade, there were 20 Hollywood studios. The basic patterns of the film industry that we see today developed during the 1920s including the studio system. Silent films were predominantly produced compared to other films. The major genres found in the films included swashbucklers, history, and melodramas. The top box-office stars in the 1920s included Harold Lloyd, Gloria Swanson, Tom Mix, Charlie Chaplin, Norma Talmadge, Rudolph Valentino, Clara Bow, and "Little Mary" Pickford.
With the advancement of technology, the use of the radio became popularized. The first public radio broadcasting opened in Pittsburgh in 1922. It became an overnight success with devoted listeners that tuned in all day. The radio was a convenient way to spread information in a short period of time. Initially, the broadcasts included daily news and world affairs but later on everything was broadcasted on the radio. The radio was definitely a significant innovation that changed the lives of the people.
Literature in the roaring twenties was dominated by a new generation of writers that were greatly influenced by the impact of World War I. The authors came from various ethnic backgrounds compared to the Protestant New Englanders who had dominated literature in previous decades. These new writers wrote of youth and the betrayal of traditional ideals shattered by WWI. Well-known authors at the time included F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Side of Paradise), Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms), Sinclair Lewis (Main Street), and William Faulkner (The Sound and the Fury).
Sports in the 1920s also became big business. Athletes like Babe Ruth brought numerous fans to the baseball stadiums. Boxing also became well known when heavyweight champion, Jack Dempsey, knocked out a French light heavyweight, Georges Carpentier.