Article

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

Citation

Velez-Serna MA (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. https://doi.org/10.1080/01439685.2015.1052222

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.

Keywords
distribution; film booking; early cinema

Journal
Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television: Volume 36, Issue 3

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2016
Publication date online30/06/2015
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/23773
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN0143-9685