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Frances Connolly Season 1 Contemporary Britain Linda Polley 16th May 2006 Essay So why was movie theater going so popular in the initially half of the century and why did it fall after 1950? Both the rise in popularity of theatre going as well as spectacular decline are not only very well documented and discussed, yet surprisingly, have generated little general difference among historians. Eddie Dyja states categorically that theatre popularity is easily explained, ‘it is cheap attainable and glamorous’1. Where as most of the blame for the decline can be attributed to the advent of tv set.

They are all correct, on the other hand neither is the complete reason of both scenario. Zero study can be complete without examining the social facets of the cinema going experience, audience involvement as well as demographics. The impact with the war can not be ignored. A war period social survey in 43 found that seventy percent of the adult inhabitants admitted going to the theatre regularly. David Chapman lets us know that during this time period ‘larger groups of the population will be relatively better represented in the cinema target audience than they are in the publics reached by simply other media’2.

Similarly, to clarify the decline in movie theater solely with regards to television is to ignore the reality television got actually been around for some time ahead of the decline. As well although the quick decline began in 1945 tv set wasn’t widely available until following your coronation in 1953. several In addition , a great examination of equally what was taking place in the industry and particularly towards the cinema properties themselves storage sheds further light on the decrease of people.

The initial public testing of a film in this region before a paying audience was upon 20th March 1896. It absolutely was orchestrated by simply French wizard Felicien Trewey using a Lumiere cinematograph, at Regent Street Polytechnic working in london. Admission was 1s and it proclaimed the beginning of Britain’s fifty year love affair with all the cinema. Luke Mc Kernan and Stephen Herbert show that simply by ‘the close of the nineteenth century it had been firmly set up as a moderate of entertainment, instruction and experiment’. During the first ten years of the 20th century The uk was at the cutting edge of developments with all the work of men like William Friese Greene whom made the first moving picture about celluloid film in Hyde Park. One other British gentleman, George Albert Smith, truly devised the first color system Kinemacolour in 1908. Interest in creativity and scientific advancement along with a political will to modify the lot of the poor meant that this new, low-cost form of entertainment appealed for an increasing number of people.

Social improvements in the early twentieth century, for example Lloyd George’s ‘peoples budget, meant that a little by little increasing number of people had money to spend in non important items. Likewise increasingly, people with cash to spend had been women and that they needed a socially acceptable venue because of their entertainment, the cinema fitted the bill. As they bore the brunt from the drudgery of daily life therefore their need for escape and a vision of one more world was greater. Not only the choice of film but the whole nature of cinema going were factors which drew audiences.

The first small ‘flee pits’ exactly where local neighborhoods gathered to socialise, Marwick suggests that ‘eating, dozing and, for young families courting, had been all part of the experience’5. Actions was to some extent less than decorous, it was approved practice for audiences to shout on the screen and across the auditorium, making it an infinitely more interactive encounter. The films either in the silent period or the early on talkies demonstrated a world which the average operating class market could not know about any other approach.

Even when the photographs were idealised and less than accurate they provided a glamorous avoid from the fact of poverty. When the ‘dream palaces’ typified by the Odeon cinemas built by Luton Businessman Oscar Deutsch began to replace these kinds of small neighborhood cinemas his or her added to the glamour of the occasion by providing atmosphere as soon as a person entered house. Film decision was a similarly crucial indication of the reasons people went to the ‘pictures’. The most popular films were generally speaking the American imports.

The industry right now there had extended exponentially, the studio system created by the major studio owners plus the huge house audiences allowed for the production of massive budget high quality films on a tremendous scale. The companies spent vast amounts of time and money advertising not only their very own films but their stars. Setting up a culture of stars, Showmanship royalty who is every actions was big news, worldwide and whose salaries could not be created of, by poor doing work class viewers in The uk who devoured their videos.

Cinema really came to pre eminence while ‘the entertainment of the masses’ during the warfare. Michael Sissons and Phillip French show that ‘whether it involved Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable entertaining up the males with displays of calf, or Noel Coward and John Mills inspiring them with displays of stiff upper lip, ‘6 the cinema made a significant contribution to the battle effort. In effect, as well as amusing the cinema now served a higher purpose. War was declared upon 3rd Sept. 2010 1939, and although conflict fare did not immediately reach British shores the effects began to show quickly.

Gas masks were granted, blackouts enforced, shelters developed, rationing presented and yellow sand bags had been stored just about everywhere space could be found. On 7th September 1940 the Blitz started out and Birmingham saw seventy six progressive, gradual nights of bombing. Completely sixty 1, 000 British civilians were killed and two out of every several houses was damaged. The brunt of the devastation was created by the doing work class, in such conditions it is easy to understand why the need for get away was tremendously increased. Add the sociable changes brought about by necessity during the war as well as the rise in movie theater attendance is easily understood.

Conscription drained the nation of teenage boys, (in simple fact conscription was extended to single women between the age groups of nineteen and twenty four, ) at a time of greatest will need.

You browse ‘Why Was Cinema Heading so Popular inside the First Half the Century? ‘ in category ‘Essay examples’ This attracted women, particularly significantly wedded women into the general work force for the first time. This gave girls economic and social liberties as never before. A similar lifting of traditional limitations was prolonged to the young. Many young people had to be left to their individual devices and the cinema offered a couple of hours of cheap baby sitting. Matinees were a basic piece for the young and terrifying by the movie theater owners.

The best seats had been only a shilling and at least half the audience paid out less. Coupled with this, the war years saw an eighty percent rise in salary. An average every week wage in 1938 was approximately 60 three shillings and three pence, by simply 1945 this kind of had risen to ninety three shillings. The cost of living in a similar period was only thirty one percent. 7 With married females working a few households right now had two incomes for the first time put simply there was more money to be spent on leisure time when there was limited selection of suitable amusement so the cinema was a great option.

Once we come to examine the evidence to get the decrease in cinema attendance it truly is blatantly evident that television set played a considerable part. A chance to watch situations of countrywide significance just like V. Electronic. Day displays and the matrimony of Little princess Elizabeth from the safety of the home was a great benefit and gradually did attract an audience. If the Queen was crowned in 1953 there is a determined effort made to ensure that the complete nation may see the protection on television if perhaps they therefore wished and twenty , 000, 000 did.

Following this date the steep slope of the attendance figures graph can with little fear of contradiction be attributed to the upsurge in television purchases. However , by this level the fall in viewers numbers experienced already been significant. Many of the factors behind the increase in popularity can also help to make clear its demise. An examination of the movie theater building themselves shows a number of points. First of all the vary from the small regional cinema got brought about an alteration in the encounter which in fact reduced the social facet of the experience.

By moving the place from city centres people no longer fulfilled their friends and others who live nearby, the new cinemas discouraged boisterous, uproarious and licentious behaviour therefore the experience started to be less of your interactive, ceremony. The uses the old movie theater building were put to brings another dimension to the argument. Many had been converted to party or gaming companies, the former to get the small the after for their father and mother. The variety of actions which came into existence acceptable during the war experienced increased, when people particularly the small went out they will wanted to connect to the opposite sexual intercourse as well as their particular friends.

Children as a separate group with expendable funds were now demanding other designs of entertainment as well as the theatre. In addition to this most of the big concert halls were no more that new and offered a much less glamorous environment in a ever increasing cost. In his examine of the location of theatre going in The united kingdom Barry Doyle found that during the period when cinema attendance i visited it’s top the number of concert halls especially in cities was correspondingly high. As new huge out of town movie theater complexes started to spring up a lot of the more convenient cinemas closed.

He suggests a possible correlation involving the decline of cinema presence and the availability of access to cinemas. 8 An additional factor in the decline in cinema presence can be found in the film sector it home. The British film sector at this time was experiencing a ‘golden age’, its motion pictures were very well received and more critically successful then before. However the picture was something of a apparence. During the later twenties the financial situation to get British creation companies was so dreadful that development was basically at a standstill.

So that they can bolster the industry The Cinematographers Trade Bill was introduced in 1927, basically it was a quota program whereby owners were required to show in the beginning five percent (rising of up to forty five per later), English films within their theatres. 9 In practice so what happened was that the British development companies acquired neither the bucks nor the infrastructure to make sufficient good quality films. They will made bad film which in turn gave the American broadcasters the excuse and the possibility to buy up or in British businesses.

Films can then come in in Great britain using English talent using American money which could end up being shown inside the quota system as English. This would have the short term effect of supporting the United kingdom film market but drained revenues out of the country. So when the People in america hit challenges as occurred after the conflict there was no way of stuffing the gap. After the warfare the studio room system in the united states could not anymore sustain on its own, the stars were demanding freedom and independence to choose their particular material this kind of meant increasing production costs.

At the same time the studios lost their various other main way to obtain revenue, control of the division and cinema chains. This kind of monopolistic practice was cut down when they were forced by American government to divest themselves with their theatre autorité in 49. 10 American Film merely cost more and there were significantly less of them offered. Perhaps the finest threat to the British cinema came from the British Govt who’s interference in the industry had devastating effects at this time. An audience once dropped is hard to regain.

In 1947 Dr Hugh Dalton was Chancellor of the Exchequer and in an effort to curtail the circulation of earnings from the region to America decided (without any consultation with the industry), to enforce a seventy five percent work on almost all imported videos. This led to the American film companies embargo in Britain. Not any films until the tax was rescinded. After many machinations committees and discussions, it absolutely was lifted as well as the only real action taken was to boost the price of admission thus alienating people even further.

According to the figures with the British film Institute five of the top ten films in history were made inside the nineteen forties and one particular, the earliest in the list White and the eight Dwarfs was made in 1937. This is because cinema attendance in that decade had been ten times higher than today. The changing face of British contemporary society throughout the early on part of the century meant that the majority working school group got both time to spend upon entertainment and the cinema provided a sociable and socially acceptable environment to spend time and funds.

In the ‘Good Housekeeping’, Mag of 1942 there is a peice entitled ‘Budgeting for Victory’. In this the stay at home mom is advised to lessen costs as much as possible, yet some provision for ‘Holidays and amusements’ continues to be allowed. 14 So even at a time of big national problems spending on entertainment is accepted as a vital all be that a minimal one particular. The decline in reputation was more complex than it seems at first numerous factors playing a small component not least access. Nonetheless it cannot be questioned that tv set with its ease and it aid to status position the final toenail in the coffin.

It has been believed that more people owned a television in 1960 than owned a refrigerator. 12 Showing this to be of significance in its own right as a image of the growing affluence of British society. By the later fifties early sixties entertainment and the have to be seen being doing well was of even more importance than any comfort which might be attained from the getting an item that may not show up. So the low-cost medium of the entertainment of the masses for the occasional, one option out of many, in under a decade. Sources

Chris Wrigley, ‘Blackwell Friend to Uk History, A Companion to Early 20th Century Britain’, (Blackwell Marketers ltd, 2003) Alan G. Burton, ‘The British Consumer Co-operative Activity and Film, 1890-1960’, (Manchester University Press, 2005) Brian McFarlane, ‘The Encyclopedia of British Film’, Methuen, London, uk, 2003) Eddie Dyja, ‘BFI Film Guide 2005’, (London 2005) Shay Sayre, Cynthia King, ‘Entertainment and Society Audiences Tendencies and Impacts’, (Sage Magazines, London, 2003) Claire Monk, Amy Sargeant, ‘British Traditional Cinema’, (Routledge, London 2002) Robert A.

Rosentone, ‘Revisioning History, Film and the Development of a Fresh Past’, (Princton University Press, 1995) Camminata Landy, ‘British Genres Cinema and Contemporary society 1930-1960’, (Princeton University Press, 1991) Jeffrey Richards, ‘The Age of the Dream Building Cinema and Society in Britain 1930-1939’, (Routledge, London, 1984) John Hill, Pamela Church Gibson, ‘The Oxford Guide to Film Studies’, (Oxford University Press, 1998) Paddy Scannell, David Cardiff, ‘A Social Great British Broadcasting’, (Basil Blackwell Ltd, Oxford, 1991) John Barnes, ‘The Beginning of the Cinema in England 1894-1901’, ( College or university of Exeter Press 1998) Charles Barr, ‘Ealing Studios’, (Studio Landscape, London, 1993) Robert Murphy, ‘Realism ans Tinsel Cinema ans Society in The uk 1939-49’, (Routledge, London, 1992) Michael Sissons, Phillip France, ‘Age of Austerity’, (Greenwood Press, Connecticut, 1976) Arthur Marwick, ‘British Society as 1945’, (Penguin Books, Birmingham, 2003) Arthur Marwick, ‘War and Sociable change in the Twentieth Century’, (Macmillan, Birmingham, 1974) Adam Chapman, ‘The British By War Cinema State and Propaganda 1939-1945’, (I. N.

Tauris Publishers, London, 1998) Barbara Dixon, ‘Wartime Scrapbooking design, Good Housekeeping’, Collins and Brown, Chester, 2005) Traditional Journal of Film Car radio and Television set, vol twenty-two, no several, 2002 Outspoken Kessler, ‘Introduction: Visible proof ” Although of What? Reassessing early on non fiction cinema’ Historic Journal of Film The airwaves and Television, vol. twenty three, no . two, 2003, Adrian Smith, ‘Humphrey Jennings’ Center of Britain (1941): a reassessment Historical Log of Film Radio and Television, vol. 23, number 1, 2003, Barry Doyle, ‘The Location of Cinemagoing in Great Britain, 1934-1994: a comment’ Historical Log of Film Radio and Television, vol. 23, number 4, the year 2003, Josephine Dolan, ‘Aunties and Uncles: The BBC’s Childrens Hour and liminal worries in the 1920s’ Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, volume. 25, number, 2005, Tu Holmes, ‘Designed Specially intended for Television functions and approach: The Development of the tv Cinema Put in Britain inside the 1950s’ Historical Journal of Film A radio station and Television set, vol. twenty four, no . 4, 2004, Prosecute Harper, ‘A Lower Middle-Class Taste Community in the thirties: admissions figures at the Regent Cinema, Portsmouth, Uk’ Traditional Journal of Film The airwaves and Tv, vol. twenty-five, no . 4, 2005, Lawrence Black, ‘Whose Finger On the Button? United kingdom Television plus the Politics of Cultural Control’ Historical Log of Film Radio and Television, http://www. zenbullets. com/britfilm/article. php? art=history The Uk Film Useful resource 1890-1910, seen April tenth 2006 http://www. bftv. ac. uk/, The Centre for British Film and Television Studies, reached April tenth 2006 http://news. bbc. um. uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/4051741. stm BBC Media Entertainment, utilized April tenth 2006 http://www. bbfc. co. uk/about/index. php British Board of Film Classification, utilized April tenth 2006 http://www. bfi. org. uk/nftva/ Uk Film Start, accessed The spring 10th 2006 http://www. britishcinemagreats. com/cinema_history/pre_british/page_1. htm British Film History, reached April tenth 2006 http://www. history. qmul. ac. uk/research/BFIproject. html California king Mary College or university of London, accessed Apr 10th 2006 http://www. ealingstudios. co. uk/history_home. html Ealing Studios, utilized April 10th 2006 http://www. filmsite. org/pre20sintro. tml, Film History ahead of 1920, seen April 10th 2006 http://www. bafta. org/site/page13. html, English Acadmy of Film and Television Arts, accessed The spring 10th 06\ http://www. movinghistory. ac. uk/index. html Going History, utilized April 10th 2006 http://www. screenonline. org. uk/film/id/448216/index. code BFI, utilized April tenth 2006 http://www. victorian-cinema. net/sources. htm, Having Who of Victorian Movie theater, accessed April 10th 2006 http://www. pinewoodshepperton. com/html/filmography/filmography. htm Pinewood, accessed 3rd May 2006 http://www. screenonline. org. uk/people/id/460162/index. html Denham Studio room, accessed third May 2006

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