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and encompassing the development of celluloid film and its projection to a large audience. It is also the result of the efforts to create spaces for the public exhibition of moving images; grand spaces which have embraced and reflected the great modernist project of the twentieth century. Hansen argues that cinema was integral to the notion of ‘modern life’ with all of its upheavals and sensuous pleasures

in From silent screen to multi-screen

’. Every generation since Conan Doyle has had its perfect Holmes. An ideal Holmes exhibition would include for the first two decades of the twentieth century William Gillette, for the 1930s Arthur Wontner, for the 1940s Basil Rathbone, for the 1950s Carleton Hobbs, for the 1960s Peter Cushing and for the 1980s and 1990s Jeremy Brett. Several of the interpreters of Holmes were aficionados of the stories and faced with scriptwriters’ inventions, pressed for the

in Cinema and radio in Britain and America, 1920–60

themselves as cinemas, or their long-term renting. In 1907 the Balham Empire was reopened as a film-only venue by the British Cinema Company (although it had been preceded by the Theatre Royal in Sheffield in 1904). What is certain is that in the first seven years of the twentieth century the majority of film shows were taking place in music halls and other halls that were temporarily hired for the purpose. That cinema ever moved

in From silent screen to multi-screen
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entertainment between the two countries. The Americans took to such quintessentially British figures as Shakespeare, Dickens, Scott, Kipling, Conan Doyle and Gilbert and Sullivan with as much enthusiasm as the British took to such quintessentially American writers as Fenimore Cooper, Longfellow, Washington Irving and Bret Harte. What linked many of these writers and spanned the Atlantic during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was a commitment to chivalry. It was in

in Cinema and radio in Britain and America, 1920–60

many. Comparing working-class life in the 1930s with that in the early part of the twentieth century, Branson and Heinemann observed that on the whole it was less monotonous and drab. 72 However, they added that in contrast: Never had it been made so easy for the factory or office worker to live a complete fantasy life in substitution or compensation for the hardships of the real

in From silent screen to multi-screen
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The creative nexus

It has long been recognized that films played a vital role in the social and cultural lives of the people of the United States and the United Kingdom in the first half of the twentieth-century. But the power of films in the imaginative lives of audiences can only be properly understood when films are located within the wider cinema culture, which comprised fan magazines, cigarette cards, postcards, cheap biographies, the book of the film

in Cinema and radio in Britain and America, 1920–60

drink, clothes and holidays. The values celebrated were comradeship, a mild anti-authoritarianism, defined gender roles and the idea of an immutable social order. It was the music hall (or variety, the form into which it evolved in the twentieth century) which fed the twentieth century’s new media – films, records and the wireless. Music hall provided the songs, the sketches and the stars for these new media. Michael Standing, Head of BBC Variety, claiming that

in Cinema and radio in Britain and America, 1920–60
The creative tension

twentieth-century writers John Galsworthy and Arnold Bennett. There was also a regular sequence of adventure novels starting with The Prisoner of Zenda and including The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, The Tower of London, The Four Feathers, King Solomon’s Mines, Treasure Island and Tom Sawyer . The writer Alan Sillitoe was born in 1928 into a very poor Nottingham family, his labourer father being frequently unemployed. But he testified

in Cinema and radio in Britain and America, 1920–60

of hand stratagems. In retrospect Powell concluded that in shooting the film, ‘I had fallen into the oldest trap in the world; the trap of the picturesque … It’s a particular curse of the British cinema … actors plus costumes plus twentieth century landscapes equals coloured picture postcards’. 19 But this was not his only problem, there was the casting. He had wanted Rex Harrison for the role of Sir Percy. But he was compelled to cast David

in Cinema and radio in Britain and America, 1920–60
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Ritz’s comparatively small size (fewer than 500 seats), this was still a remarkable run.  8 Daily Film Renter, 20 May 1940, p. 4.  9 Brad Beaven and John Griffiths, ‘The blitz, civilian morale and the city: MassObservation and working-class culture in Britain, 1940–41’, Urban History, 26:1 (1999), p. 72. 10 National Archives of Scotland: GD 289/1: Ledgers of the Playhouse and Palace cinemas. These ledgers are analysed in Ingrid Jeacle, ‘“Going to the movies”: accounting and twentieth-century cinema’, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 22:5 (2009). 11

in Cinemas and cinemagoing in wartime Britain, 1939–45