One of the “little five” studios of silent-era Hollywood, Film Booking Office began life as the Robertson-Cole production-distribution outfit, founded by Harry Robertson and Rufus Cole in 1918. In 1922, R-C’s distribution wing was reorganized as Film Booking Offices of America, which had become the primary identity – and name – of the organization when it was purchased by Boston financier Joseph P. Kennedy in 1926. With an emphasis on cheap genre films (including a popular series of westerns starring Fred Thomson and his horse Silver King) as well as occasional prestige pictures (under the Gold Bond moniker), FBO also distributed a number of inventive short-subject series from the mid- to late 1920s. It was through FBO, for instance, that Charley Bowers’s surreal live-action/stop-motion hybrids were first distributed; and it was FBO that picked up Walt Disney’s Alice films (which similarly combined live-action and animation techniques) when Disney’s distribution deal with Winkler Pictures was terminated. During the mid-1920s, FBO also distributed the comedies of independent producer Joe Rock, including a series of twelve Stan Laurel solo shorts (1924-1925) and the Ton of Fun series starring heavyweight comedians Hilliard “Fat” Karr, Kewpie Ross, and Frank “Fatty” Alexander (1925-1927). In October 1928, FBO was purchased by Radio Corporation of America, which merged the outfit with the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chain to create RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum).