History of the MPPDA

The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc. (MPPDA) was the trade association for the major companies in the motion picture industry during the 1920s and 1930s. According to its by-laws, the MPDPA was created 'to foster the common interests of those engaged in the motion picture industry in the United States.' In practice, its restricted membership was dominated by the major companies Paramount, Loew's, Inc. (parent company for MGM), Fox, Warner Bros., RKO, Universal, Columbia and United Artists and it operated as the means by which these companies could co-operate in all areas of the movie business in which they were not competing with each other. It had a large role in managing the industry's public relations, particularly in maintaining the industry's respectability in the eyes of church and civic groups suspicious of the movies' influence on the young and unsophisticated. The MPPDA also conducted negotiations on behalf of the industry with local, state, federal and foreign governments. In cinema history, it is best known for its role in regulating the content of motion pictures, particularly through the Motion Picture Production Code (often called the Hays Code), introduced in 1930.