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Moviegoing in America: Nickelodeons to Movie Palaces to IMAX to Netflix
Tuesday, January 19 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm | add to Google Calendar
This is a Zoom event. To register, click here.
Ever since the movie industry was born in the 1890s, audiences have thrilled to watch stories come to life on the big screen. At first, this screen wasn’t very big—nor was attending the stuffy local nickelodeon all that pleasant. But by the 1920s, extravagant movie palaces were constructed in downtowns all over the country and moviegoing was transformed into a luxury experience. Sadly, this would end in the 1950s with the rise of the suburbs and the explosion of drive-in theaters, followed by shopping mall multiplexes. Today, going to the movies can be either overwhelming—at seven-story IMAX theaters—or thoroughly unpleasant, as your neighbor gobbles nachos and beer and teenagers talk and text throughout the film. And with the advent of the pandemic, for most of us, moviegoing is now just a memory. This presentation will look at the fascinating history of movie theaters and examine how the experience of moviegoing has changed over the decades, and whether movie theaters will survive in the age of Netflix.
BRIAN ROSE is a professor emeritus at Fordham University, where he taught for 38 years in the Department of Communication and Media Studies. He’s written several books on television history and cultural programming, and conducted more than a hundred Q&A’s with leading directors, actors, and writers for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Directors Guild of America.