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Stuart Hanson

The 1930s was a period when the mass media began to develop into the forms that we are familiar with today. This chapter traces the growth of cinema as a mode of mass entertainment, beginning with the early picture palaces and the 'super cinema' developments in the early 1930s. The audience was attracted to watching films along with a newsreel and a cartoon which gave them a respite from the grim reality of life, and the major cinema circuits were anxious to encourage greater attendance amongst the middle classes. The chapter discusses the legislative and other government interventions, notably the Cinematograph Films Act 1927, and highlights the specific concerns regarding the morally corrupting influence of cinema and its effects. It also documents the establishment of the Commission on Educational and Cultural Films and the debates about the role and function of the cinema as a leisure activity.

in From silent screen to multi-screen
Brad Beaven

tremendous advances in mass entertainment from the singing saloons in the 1860s to the Picture Palaces of the 1930s. Undoubtedly, empire was a genre of entertainment that successfully transferred from the stage to the silver screen, ensuring that filmgoers across the country would have been conversant with the epic imperial films of the 1930s. However, one cannot assume that through reading music hall lyrics or a film script we

in Visions of empire
A history of cinema exhibition in Britain since 1896
Author: Stuart Hanson

The exhibition of films has developed from a lowly fairground attraction in the 1890s to the multi-million pound industry of today. This book charts the development of cinema exhibition and cinema-going in Britain from the first public film screening in February 1896 through to the opening of 30-screen 'megaplexes'. It recounts the beginnings of cinema and in particular its rapid development, by the eve of the Great War, as the pre-eminent mass entertainment. The book considers developments of cinema as an independent entertainment, the positioning of cinemas within the burgeoning metropolitan spaces, the associated search for artistic respectability, the coming of sound and a large-scale audience. The period from 1913 to 1930 was one in which the cinema industry underwent dramatic restructuring, new chains, and when Hollywood substantially increased its presence in British cinemas. Cinema-going is then critically analysed in the context of two powerful myths; the 'Golden Age' and the 'universal audience'. The book also considers the state of cinema exhibition in Britain in the post-war period, and the terminal decline of cinema-going from the 1960s until 1984. It looks at the development of the multiplex in the United States from the 1960s and examines the importance of the shopping mall and the suburb as the main focus for these cinema developments. Finally, the book discusses the extent to which the multiplex 'experience' accounts for the increase in overall attendance; and how developments in the marketing of films have run in tandem with developments in the cinema.

Memories of childrens cinema-going in London before the First World War
Luke McKernan

Before 1906, there were no dedicated venues for the exhibition of film in London. Five years later, cinemas had spread all over the city, and 200,000 people were attending a film show in the city every day. Many in these first cinema audiences were children. Significantly - indeed probably uniquely for the time - cinema was a mass entertainment deliberated aimed at, and priced within the range of, the young. Decades later, some of these children left memoirs (published or unpublished), or were interviewed by oral historians. This body of evidence on the experience of cinema-going before the First World War has been hitherto ignored by film historians. This essay examines this testimony from London audience members, which is constructed around the various stages of the act of going to the cinema. The testimony demonstrates that the experience and the enjoyment of the social space that the cinema provided were at least as important as the entertainment projected on the screen. The early cinema demands greater recognition for its function as a social sphere, and particularly as a welcoming place for children.

Film Studies
Duy Lap Nguyen

given so much attention and priority to non-Vietnamese writers and writings.”106 The lost period of Vietnamese literature, then, was one in which Vietnamese readers and writers had become less and less interested in their own national literature. v 191 v The unimagined community Because this period was defined by the decline of high culture, and because massentertainment was the distinguishing feature of this phase” (tiêu khiển là một đặc điểm của giai đoạn này),107 the majority of works in translation were of a popular variety: Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Gérard

in The unimagined community
Abstract only
Patriotism, popular culture and the city, 1870–1939
Author: Brad Beaven

This book offers a ground-breaking perspective on how imperial culture was disseminated. It draws on a consistent set of themes that influenced urban life between 1870 and 1939, in addressing the impact of imperialism on popular culture of the British society. The book identifies the important synergies that grew between a new civic culture and the wider imperial project. It explores the local and imperial nexus and whether imperial wars in the far reaches of the British Empire were translated into tangible localised issues. The book examines the role of volunteerism, patriotism and citizen-soldier relationships through two important conflicts, the Boer War and First World War. Drawing on a rich seam of primary sources from Portsmouth, Coventry and Leeds, case studies are considered against an extensive analysis of seminal and current historiography. The evidence drawn suggests that differing social, political and cultural contexts helped determine both a community's civic identity and, significantly, its engagement with national and imperial perspectives. University and religious settlements such as the High Anglican Oxford House, Toynbee Hall and the Oxford House Movement run by Anglo-Catholic slum priests exposed men to a life of service towards their imperial mission. The schooling experience of working-class children in these cities focused on curriculum, physical exercise, and extra-curricular activities. The ebb and flow of imperial enthusiasm was shaped through a fusion of local patriotism and a broader imperial identity. Imperial culture was neither generic nor unimportant but was instead multi-layered and recast to capture the concerns of a locality.

Peter Yeandle, Katherine Newey and Jeffrey Richards

PART III The performance of politics T he essays in Part II focused on topical referencing – on how theatrical performance, across popular entertainment genres, operated as sites for the transmission, in staged performances, of political ideologies. What becomes clear is the extent to which mass entertainments sought both to reflect and direct popular opinion and how they, in doing so, demonstrated the remarkable reactivity and flexibility of Victorian theatre to act as a location for the mediation of contemporary politics through popular culture. Popular

in Politics, performance and popular culture
Crossing boundaries and negotiating the cultural landscape
Author: Janice Norwood

Victorian touring actresses: Crossing boundaries and negotiating the cultural landscape provides a new perspective on the on- and offstage lives of women working in nineteenth-century theatre, and affirms the central role of touring, both within the United Kingdom and in North America and Australasia. Drawing on extensive archival research, it features a cross-section of neglected performers whose dramatic specialisms range from tragedy to burlesque. Although they were employed as stars in their own time, their contribution to the industry has largely been forgotten. The book’s innovative organisation follows a natural lifecycle, enabling a detailed examination of the practical challenges and opportunities typically encountered by the actress at each stage of her working life. Individual experiences are scrutinised to highlight the career implications of strategies adopted to cope with the demands of the profession, the physical potential of the actress’s body, and the operation of gendered power on and offstage. Analysis is situated in a wide contextual framework and reveals how reception and success depended on the performer’s response to the changing political, economic, social and cultural landscape as well as to developments in professional practice and organisation. The book concludes with discussion of the legacies of the performers, linking their experiences to the present-day situation.

Brad Beaven

In Britain generally, the importance of recreational institutions was belatedly recognised by the authorities. In the anticipation of a massive aerial attack, many public places in Britain were closed down on the outbreak of war.43 There was also a moral dimension since some commentators argued that it was inappropriate that mass entertainment be provided when others were laying down their lives for their country. Such providers of entertainment could have stood accused of peddling frivolous distractions from a national crisis or even of lacking sufficient

in Leisure, citizenship and working-class men in Britain, 1850–1945
Kate Nichols and Sarah Victoria Turner

a serious educative purpose with mass entertainment, designed with pleasure and crowd pleasing in mind, was something of a hallmark of the Sydenham Palace. As Matthew Digby Wyatt, one of the architects of the Fine Arts Courts, put it, the displays at Sydenham were designed to educate ‘by eye’, as well as to be a source of ‘stimulating pleasure’.9 The Crystal Palaces The memory of what art historian Lady Elizabeth Eastlake described as that ‘old friend’ the Great Exhibition lived on in visitors’ recollections, contributing towards the horizon of expectations that

in After 1851