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Early Cinema in Scotland

Edited by John Caughie, Trevor Griffiths, María A. Vélez-Serna

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£75.00

Examines the history of early cinema in Scotland from its inception in 1896 until the 1930s

The popularity of cinema and cinema-going in Scotland was exceptional. By 1929 Glasgow had 127 cinemas, and by 1939 it claimed more cinema seats per capita than any other city in the world. Focusing on the social experience of cinema and cinema-going, this collection of essays provides a detailed context for the history of early cinema in Scotland, from its inception in 1896 until the arrival of sound in the early 1930s. Tracing the movement from travelling fairground shows to the establishment of permanent cinemas in major cities and small towns across the country, the book examines the attempts to establish a sustainable feature film production sector and the significance of an imaginary version of Scotland in international cinema.

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Contents

1: Introduction
2: Travelling bioscopes and borrowed spaces, María A. Vélez-Serna
3: Fixed-site cinemas and the first film renters, María A. Vélez Serna
4: Cinema and cinema-going in small towns, John Caughie
5: Making a living at the cinema: Scottish cinema staff in the silent era, Trevor Griffiths
6: Early Municipal Cinema, Julia Bohlmann
7: Rob Roy: Britain’s first feature film, Caroline Merz
8: Local films for local people: ‘Have you been Cinematographed Yet?’, John Caughie and Janet McBain
9: Depicting Scotland: Scotland in early films, John Caughie
10: The Talkies Triumphant: Scottish Cinema and the Coming of Sound, Trevor Griffiths
11: Filmography, John Caughie
Bibliography

About the Author

John Caughie is Emeritus Professor at Glasgow University and Honorary Research Professor in Film & Television Studies. He was Principal Investigator on the three-year AHRC research project, ‘Early Scottish Cinema, 1896-1927’, was a member of the editorial group of Screen until 2014, and is a member of the HoMER Network. He served on the Council of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2005-2010, and was Chair of its Research Committee.

Trevor Griffiths is Reader in Economic and Social History at the University of Edinburgh. Educated at the University of Oxford, he has carried out research on working-class society in Britain in the early twentieth century, before turning more recently to examine aspects of popular culture. He was Co-Investigator on the three-year AHRC research project, ‘Early Scottish Cinema, 1896-1927’.

Maria A. Velez-Serna is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Stirling, working on pop-up cinema exhibition. She was the Postdoctoral Researcher on the Early Cinema in Scotland project, after completing her PhD at the University of Glasgow. She has also published on Colombian cinema history and is a member of the HoMER Network (History of Moviegoing, Exhibition and Reception).

Reviews

Early Cinema in Scotland represents an important benchmark in what has come to be called the "new cinema history." The fruit of three years of dogged research by a talented team of cinema historians, it situates the emergence of cinema within the complex political, social, and cultural contexts of "place." In do so it productively complicates notions of the local, the national, urban and rural; modernity and tradition. It is revealing in its account of the particularities of "Scotland" and "Scottishness," while, at the same time, establishing a framework for comparative analysis. John Caughie and his colleagues have set a new standard for cinema historiography.

- Professor Robert C. Allen, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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