А. Khanzhonkov and Co Joint-Stock Company and its competitors in Russia

А. Khanzhonkov and Co Joint-Stock Company and its competitors in Russia

Aleksandr A. Bessolitsyn
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The article is based on the archival files of joint-stock companies in the film industry, stored in the fonds of the Russian State Historical Archive (RGIA), the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI), and the Central State Historical Archive of St Petersburg (TsGIA SPb) as well as statistics digests Joint-Stock Companies of Russia (1912–1917) and scientific literature and focuses on the analysis of the activities of A. Khanzhonkov and Co Joint-Stock Company and its competitors in the film industry at the beginning of the twentieth century. A. Khanzhonkov’s joint-stock company, which gradually developed from a small trade and commission business that supplied the Russian market with films and equipment produced mainly by European, became a leader in the Russian pre-revolutionary film market. The company steadily made a profit, increased its fixed and reserve capital, and also paid dividends to shareholders annually. The author came to the conclusion that it is A. Khanzhonkov and Co Joint-Stock Company that was most successful and effective in the field of production and distribution of films among Russian film companies firms and was a real competitor to the branches of leading foreign companies in Russian film business, such as Gaumont and Pathé Brothers. However, the company was unable to fully exploit the opportunities which emerged after the outbreak of the First World War due to the withdrawal of a number of branches of leading foreign companies from the film market. By keeping his firm in the form of a joint-stock company, A. Khanzhonkov actually hindered its development himself by not issuing shares for free sale on the stock exchange. Therefore, the company constantly suffered a lack of investment. This was especially evident after the February Revolution of 1917, when new companies entered the film business, which significantly increased competition in the film market. The attempt to transfer the company’s activities to the Crimea in connection with the construction of a new Yalta film studio was not successful, primarily due to the deterioration of the overall political and economic situation in the country.
Aleksandr A. Bessolitsyn
Doctor of Economic Sciences, Professor, Leading Researcher
Center for Economic History, Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
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Joint-stock companies, film industry, A. Khanzhonkov, Gaumont, Pathé Brothers, competition, fixed capital, dividends
For citation:
Bessolitsyn, A. “А. Khanzhonkov and Co Joint-Stock Company and its competitors in Russia.” Historia Provinciae – the Journal of Regional History, vol. 5, no. 3 (2021): 780–842,

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