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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.

The Spanish Gardener and its analogues
Alison Platt

. So what of the British post-war era? In The Sixth Sense there is an unashamed example of the sensitive relationship between males, adult and child, that figures as so strong a motif in British post-war cinema. It is therefore tempting to say that Britain in this period left a legacy that America inherited. Although films such as Alexander Mackendrick’s Mandy (1952), Roy Baker’s Jacqueline (1956

in British cinema of the 1950s
Heather Norris Nicholson

Chapter 8 focuses on amateur films that addressed current social issues. Drawing on varied examples discussion explores the periodic trenchant criticisms of amateurs’ neglect of socially relevant topic concerns found within the specialist press and highlights aspects of filmmaking that overtly respond to contemporary issues. While much amateur footage discloses details of time and place, attention focuses here first on films about public health, welfare and housing before and after the start of the National Health Service, as well as the effects of post war urban redevelopment. Shot in hospitals, training centres and in the midst of urban slum clearance, such material varies stylistically from early actuality, topicals and documentaries to the visual reportage of Standard and Super 8mm users, and also the experimentation of post-war cinema, and reflects the changing involvement and interests of younger filmmakers. Issues of morality, violence, pornography, substance abuse and discrimination feature among later amateur productions as do issues of conflict and international insecurity, poverty, and growing up. Choice of topic and its handling denote shifting attitudes too, as seen in films concerning disability and homelessness. While socially engaged film-making represents a relatively small proportion of overall amateur activity, it is too important to ignore.

in Amateur film
Abstract only
Andrew Roberts

This has been the work of an unabashed cinephile writer, one with blatant tendencies to rant about life, the universe and the importance of the Wolseley motorcar to post-war cinema. British cinema is no longer the ‘unknown cinema of Britain’, as famously described by Alan Lovell in 1972, or the ‘lost continent’ that Julian Petley wrote of in 1986. Indeed, we have progressed from the days when a liking for the works of Basil Dearden or Bryan Forbes could once render you persona non grata in smart cinematic circles, doomed to roam the South Bank. As recently as

in Idols of the Odeons
Jonathan Rayner

addition to the known facts of the attack and fates of the craft) and the beginning of the survivors’ journey to imprisonment. From the re-invocation of national peril in its first sequence, to the resigned acceptance of personal loss in the achievement of a higher goal in its last, Above Us the Waves registers a regret for the exigencies of the war comparable to The Dam Busters, and quite antithetical to the post-war cinema’s supposed celebration of victory. TNWC02 16/11/06 11:27 AM Page 58 58 Post-war British naval films and the service comedy The film’s muted

in The naval war film
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National cinema and unstable genres
Valentina Vitali

’s La maschera del demonio / Revenge of the Vampires / Black Sunday (1960). Hammer films, which have been included in accounts of British cinema more often than other unstable genres, and, to a lesser extent, the Italian western, which I discuss briefly in Chapter 1, are possibly the only exceptions among European and North American post-war cinemas. But as the contrasting positions of film critics and historians reproduced above show, even Hammer productions began to acquire some degree of (contested) legitimacy within and as part of British cinema only from the

in Capital and popular cinema
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Andrew Roberts

popularity’ (Thumim 1992 : 56). 5 The screen career of Jack Hawkins illustrates the sense of ambiguity within the patriarchy of post-war cinema. Kenneth More, at the height of his screen stardom, mirrored aspects of the social optimism of his 1950s audience; The Comedy Man (Alvin Rakoff 1964) illustrates the price of maintaining the ‘decent fellow’s’ public face. During the Second World War, the screen image of John Mills was that of a reliable working- or lower-middle-class Englishman stoically coping with life’s vicissitudes. By the late 1950s, his ostensibly stable

in Idols of the Odeons
Stefania Parigi

discovery, developing things as they ‘go along’, unconstrained by a script. In tune with Rossellini’s post-war cinema and anticipating the nouvelles vagues of the 1960s, Zavattini celebrated the supremacy of filming over plot and the immediacy of an unprogrammatic encounter between artist and materials. He contrasted the layered and flexible structures of diaries, of subjective, autobiographical journeys truly

in Cinema – Italy
Stuart Hanson

the post-war cinema audience was arrested to an extent by the development of new kinds of cinemas in the early 1950s. The most significant was the drive-in cinema, which was in large part a reaction to the increasing numbers of car-owning suburbanites and to the high cost of building new enclosed cinemas. Some 3,500 of these cinemas were built between 1948 and 1952, which more than compensated for the loss of 900

in From silent screen to multi-screen
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Cinema saved my life
Diana Holmes and Robert Ingram

“lechée”’ 16 (Truffaut 1987 : 220) of the tradition de qualité determine conservatism of meaning; the ‘realism’ of left-wing directors such as Autant-Lara he reduces to ‘donne[r] au public sa dose habituelle de noirceur, de non-conformisme, de facile audace’ 17 (Truffaut 1987 : 221). The true ‘audacities’ of post-war cinema are performed by those ‘men of the cinema’ who experiment with the medium

in François Truffaut