From ‘Golden Age’ to the beginnings of decline: 1950–60
in From silent screen to multi-screen
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The immediate post-war period saw the zenith of cinema-going in Britain but in the 1950s the audience began to shrink, slowly at first and then more rapidly. There was a complementary decline in the number of cinemas in Britain. All of the major cinema chains ran organised Saturday morning clubs after the war in order to stimulate the cinema-going habit amongst children. The end of the 1940s, in the aftermath of the Second World War, once again witnessed the government intervening in the film industry and in doing so it continued a pattern established with the Cinematograph Act 1909. During this Golden Age the working class lived and worked in integrated communities, the families who played together stayed together, and cinemas were pleasure domes where the British could live out their fantasies.'

From silent screen to multi-screen

A history of cinema exhibition in Britain since 1896

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