in Cinemas and cinemagoing in wartime Britain, 1939–45
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The end of the war did not bring about the immediate return of the pre-war cinema. Many of the control schemes that were instituted during the conflict were maintained for years after victory was declared, and cinemas damaged by enemy action took many years to receive permission to rebuild. Some never reopened. Unsurprisingly, reconstruction prioritised housing over picture palaces. Summing up the major themes of book, the conclusion suggests that the post-war decline in cinema attendance witnessed throughout the 1950s spoke to the domestication of luxuries associated with the cinema that had, before the war, not been available to Britons in their own homes. With many cinemas in advanced states of decrepitude as a result of wartime events and shortages, and continued post-war neglect, patrons no longer looked to the cinema as a dream palace. However, although the war sowed the seeds of post-war decline, we should be careful to bear in mind the central role that the cinema played in the lives of wartime Britons.


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