Kate BowlesUniversity of Wollongong

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‘All the evidence is that Cobargo is slipping’
An ecological approach to rural cinema-going
in Film Studies
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This paper considers the impact of extra-filmic elements on the cultural decision-making behaviours of a small rural Australian cinema audience, focusing on the rural New South Wales village of Cobargo in the late 1920s. In considering how why such fragile rural picture show operations either failed or became successful, it is critical to take account of rural geographies, particularly in terms of early road development, and the nature and state of road bridges in flood-prone areas. The paper argues that these elements are part of a broad ecosystemic framework for cultural decision-making which can assist in our interpretation of early newspaper advertising and promotion for picture show programs.

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