Reminds me of my theory classes in film school.
If I understand what you're referencing, you're talking about African American literary theory, Psychoanalytic literary theory, Feminist literary theory, ad nauseum.
All of these kinds of theory were applied to film as well.
My mentor (many years ago) was a leader in the area of Cognitive Film theory, and pushed for film theory to be empirical and observable in a scientific manner. This was in contrast to the various theories that tried to advance ideological causes.
In regard to professional, it means they were paid. That's true, there were many paid positions for literary theory in academia, but not as many nowadays. Literary theory isn't, generally speaking, used by writers and movie makers. Sometimes, but I think most successful writers and filmmakers want to sell their books or movies.
I find that the use of literary theory (if we are talking about the same thing) in filmmaking feels heavy handed and propagandistic. Cognitive theory is different as it chooses to use scientific method to understand why film affects us as it does rather than pushing an agenda.
Pure theory isn't particularly useful unless it can be harnessed in a functional way to create desired effects. I have that same requirement of Dramatica. I wouldn't still be here if I didn't think that it could be used in a functional way. However, I'm not so convinced that these other literary theories lend themselves to functional approaches (at least, not without a lot of retooling).