The development of the audience for early film in Glasgow before 1914

Dougan, Andy (2018) The development of the audience for early film in Glasgow before 1914. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis investigates the development of the audience for early cinema in Glasgow. It takes a social-historical approach considering the established scholarship from Allen, Low, Hansen, Kuhn et al, on the development of early cinema audiences, and overlays this with original archival research to provide examples which are specific to Glasgow. By using a variety of local sources, for example, newspaper archives, local authority minutes, and audience recollections, this thesis will show that although there were commonalities between Glasgow and various other centres such as Aberdeen, Manhattan, Knoxville, or London, there were also conditions which were specific and unique to Glasgow. In that sense this thesis is a local insight into a national argument.
A secondary aim of this work is the relationship between Glasgow audiences and the moving image. This thesis will examine the sense of civic pride which cinema brought to the city, as well as considering the rise of a new generation of fans. These ‘cinema natives’ as I term them grew up with the moving image and as such had an enduring connection with the movies.
The thesis is broadly organised in three parts. The first part (Chapters 1-3) charts the history of entertainment in Glasgow as a city of spectacle and display. The Glasgow Fair holiday played an important part in establishing leisure in the city’s social calendar and led to the setting up of an entertainment quarter. This section will also consider pre-cinema traditions and the growth of Victorian leisure culture. It will also show how cinema in Glasgow spread very quickly so that within 18 months it encompassed a wide demographic range.
The mid-section (Chapters 4-6) outlines the regulatory framework in which cinema emerged in Glasgow. Once fixed-site exhibition developed from 1908 there was a moral backlash against cinema with a campaign from Glasgow Parish Council aimed at restricting access for children. At the same time there were also national moves to introduce safety regulation. This section examines how the themes of safety regulation and moral regulation were conflated in an attempt to control the audience. It concludes with the introduction of
the Cinematograph Act 1909 and outlines the difficulties of applying this national legislation at a local level.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Film, cinema, audience, Glasgow, Scotland, cinematograph, entertainment.
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Goode, Dr. Ian and Craven, Dr. Ian
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Dr Andrew Dougan
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-9088
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 May 2018 14:22
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2018 10:17

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