The golden age of movies is universally considered to be the period from the early 1930's to the late 1940's. Some people do allow the golden age of movies to run into the early 1950's, but generally it is confined to the pre and post World War II era.
During this period such classic movies as "King Kong" and "Gone With the Wind" were released. This era of movies is critically important to the American movie-going public for two reasons; it showed the financial promise of the movie industry and it helped Americans to understand the necessity of theater.
Movies such as "King Kong" were made at a time of economic peril in the United States, yet it became one of the most financially successful movies of the decade. When the American public needs an escape, it turns to movies. The golden era showed that the American public relies on movies, even during the most difficult times, to help create a diversion and give people the initiative to keep their heads up and move forward. Movie studios were struck by how successful the movie industry became at a time when businesses all over the United States were closing, and families were going hungry.
During World War II, Americans relied on the movie theaters as a source of news and entertainment. Newsreels brought images of American progress in World War II, and then epic features such as the classic "Casablanca" kept Americans entertained. When Americans needed to escape from World War II, they did so in a movie theater. That fact was not lost on movie studio executives, and since the 1940's the movie industry has seen significant growth, even in the most difficult of economic times.