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From the beginning, the motion picture industry drove huge advances in loudspeaker design. Through the 20's, theaters got bigger, and the sound systems evolved to keep up. In 1928, it took a big, efficient speaker to fill a theater with only 2 watts of power. However, the 30's and 40's saw speakers grow more efficient and produce better sound. Amplifiers produced more power, and less distortion. Western Electric, Altec, RCA, JBL and others were responsible for many of the advances in loudspeaker design from this era.
Theater sound was not restricted to the theatres. Companies like H.H. Scott, Magnavox, RCA, and Fisher were pioneers in home audio and hi-fi reproduction. By the fifties most everyone had a hi-fi console stereo in their living room.