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A fan magazine is a commercially written and published magazine intended for the amusement of fans of the popular culture subject matter which it covers. It is distinguished from a scholarly or literary magazine on the one hand, by the target audience of its contents, and from a fanzine on the other, by the commercial and for-profit nature of its production and distribution.[1][2] Scholarly works on popular culture and fandoms do not always make this terminological distinction clear. In some relevant works, fanzines are called "fan magazines", possibly because the term "fanzine" is seen as slang.

American examples include Photoplay, Motion Picture Magazine, Modern Screen, Sports Illustrated and Cinefantastique.[citation needed]


Film fan magazinesEdit


The film fan magazines focused on promoting films and movie stars in a certain way, and in exchange for this control, the studios would purchase plentiful advertisements.[3]

Well known gossip columnists like Hedda Hopper, Walter Winchell, and Louella Parsons, among others, were published in various fan magazines. Readers of the fan magazines enjoyed reading about their favorite celebrities in "candid" articles supposedly penned by the stars themselves, even though they were most likely written by press agents and usually served to defend recent behavior or deflect rumors.[4] The reporting on stars in this period by Photoplay and others was overwhelmingly positive due to the studios' influence over the publications.


Photoplay was one of the first American film fan magazines. Founded in Chicago in 1911 by Macfadden Publications, Photoplay was founded the same year as Stuart Blackton's Motion Picture Story, a similar publication. Photoplay, as one of the first and most popular fan magazines, is credited as the originator of celebrity media. Photoplay was published from 1911 until 1980, at several points merging with other publications.

Other fan magazines include Modern Screen, Cinefantastique, and Confidential.[citation needed]


Confidential was founded in 1952 by Robert Harrison and published until 1978.

It is one of the most memorable fan magazines because of its salacious content and irreverent celebrity gossip. Unlike other fan magazines, Confidential did not cooperate with the studios and therefore did not feel obligated to present a positive image of celebrities.[5]


  1. ^ Slide, Anthony. Inside the Hollywood fan magazine: a history of star makers, fabricators, and gossip mongers University Press of Mississippi, 2010; p. 11 and passim
  2. ^ Hunt, Nathan. "The importance of trivia: ownership, exclusion and authority in science fiction fandom" in Defining cult movies: the cultural politics of oppositional taste Mark Jancovich et al, eds. Manchester University Press, 2003; p. 188
  3. ^ "Those Glorious Fan Magazines." Welcome to VQR Online. 31 Jan. 2013. Web. 1 Oct. 2014. <>.
  4. ^ "Those Glorious Fan Magazines." Welcome to VQR Online. 31 Jan. 2013. Web. 1 Oct. 2014. <>.
  5. ^ Scott, Henry E. "When Gossip Was Gritty: Confidential Magazine." Gawker. 22 Jan. 2010. Web. 1 Oct. 2014. <>.