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Appears in Collections:Communications, Media and Culture Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Preview screenings and the spaces of an emerging local cinema trade in Scotland
Authors: Velez-Serna, Maria A.
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Keywords: distribution
film booking
early cinema
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
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.
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.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: © 2015 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Affiliation: Communications, Media and Culture

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