Rayart Pictures

Rayart Pictures was one of the early film production and distribution companies operating independently of the major Hollywood studios in the United States during the later silent film era from the mid-to-late 1920s and into the early "talkies" era of early films with sound in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It established its own distribution network,[1] specialising in westerns.[2] It was begun by W. Ray Johnston in 1924, after whom the company was named. It was originally created as a low budget release agent,[3] and like the other so-called Poverty Row studios, was based in a small plot off Sunset Strip, by Gower Street.[4] An early Poverty Row studio,[5] it was a forerunner of Monogram Pictures.[6]

In 1929, Rayart produced a series of musical pieces—featuring Tommy Christian and His Palisades Orchestra— as well as shorts and the feature-length film Howdy Broadway, a musical set in college with "an entirely predictable" script.[7]

Rayart was renamed Raytone with the advent of sound in films. The company became part of Monogram Pictures in a merger with Sono Art-World Wide Pictures in 1933.



  1. Michael Allen (25 September 2014). Contemporary US Cinema. Taylor & Francis. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-317-87418-8.
  2. Wide Angle. Ohio University School of Film. 1991.
  3. Michael R. Pitts (25 July 2005). Poverty Row Studios, 1929–1940: An Illustrated History of 55 Independent Film Companies, with a Filmography for Each. McFarland. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-4766-1036-8.
  4. Michael G. Ankerich (1 May 1993). Broken silence: conversations with 23 silent film stars. McFarland & Co. ISBN 978-0-89950-835-1.
  5. Wes D. Gehring (2003). Carole Lombard, the Hoosier Tornado. Indiana Historical Society Press. ISBN 978-0-87195-167-0.
  6. E.J. Stephens and Marc Wanamaker (2014). Early Poverty Row Studios. Arcadia Publishing. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-4671-3258-9.
  7. Richard Koszarski (27 August 2008). Hollywood on the Hudson: Film and Television in New York from Griffith to Sarnoff. Rutgers University Press. p. 238. ISBN 978-0-8135-4552-3.
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