Preview screenings and the spaces of an emerging local cinema trade in Scotland

Velez-Serna, M. A. (2016) Preview screenings and the spaces of an emerging local cinema trade in Scotland. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 36(3), pp. 285-304. (doi:10.1080/01439685.2015.1052222)

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Abstract

Selecting and booking films to make up a programme that suited a particular audience was a crucial skill for exhibitors in the competitive conditions of the early cinema trade in Britain. This article argues that access to trade previews of the films was necessary for this choice to be meaningful, and it studies the emergence and regularisation of trade shows in Glasgow, Scotland, as an indicator of the forms of agency retained by independent cinema managers and renters. By documenting its different local manifestations up to 1920, the trade preview is shown to be a particular reception context, with its own spaces and codes of conduct. Furthermore, in a thriving non-metropolitan film trade, such as the Scottish one, it was an important social routine where informal networks could be nurtured and information shared. Thus, by looking at the micro-cosmos of the private projection room, it is possible to get a glimpse of how the trade functioned on the ground and how it understood its social position during a time of great upheaval, before it conformed to a more centralised, institutional model.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Velez-Serna, Dr Maria
Authors: Velez-Serna, M. A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0143-9685
ISSN (Online):1465-3451
Published Online:10 June 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Author
First Published:First published in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 36(3): 285-304
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
543731Early cinema in Scotland, 1896-1927John CaughieArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/I020535/1ARTS LAB