UCL Cinema Memories project on tour with Screen Machine

16 September 2013

Dr Matt Jones (UCL History) is spending two weeks travelling the Scottish Highlands with a mobile cinema, to find out how film-goers remember and react to films from the 1960s.

Screen Machine

Dr Jones will be touring with Screen Machine - an 80-seat mobile cinema which brings films to remote and rural areas of Scotland - as part of a UCL project called Cultural Memory and British Cinema-going of the 1960s. This research project, which is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, aims to shed light on the social and cultural history of cinema. Over the three week period, Dr Jones will be attending screenings of films including Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Dr No and holding discussions with audience members about the memories they evoke.

Dr Jones explained: ‘To many writers, sixties films summed up the changes transforming British society, but the films themselves reveal nothing about how they were received and remembered. We want to find out how cinema-goers remember the films they saw and the chance to discuss 1960s cinema memories with people across Scotland was too exciting to turn down. Not only will this help us to broaden our research, but it will also allow us to encourage even more people to think about their personal cinema-going histories and what this activity has meant to them and their relations and friends over the years.”

It takes us back to the very earliest days of moving pictures, before there were cinema buildings and traveling exhibitors took films around to show in halls, churches and schools. I've always been fascinated by travelling cinema shows, from the 'movie-train' used to project films in early post-revolutionary Russia to the lorries that brought films to remote villages in central Africa in the 1930s and 40s.

Melvyn Stokes, Project Director of UCL's Cultural Memory and British Cinema-going of the 1960s project

Project Director Dr Melvyn Stokes (UCL History) said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Screen Machine, which is a wonderful way of reconnecting with the roots of cinema. It takes us back to the very earliest days of moving pictures, before there were cinema buildings and traveling exhibitors took films around to show in halls, churches and schools. I've always been fascinated by travelling cinema shows, from the 'movie-train' used to project films in early post-revolutionary Russia to the lorries that brought films to remote villages in central Africa in the 1930s and 40s.”

Dr Jones will be visiting a number of small towns and villages as part of the project and is writing a blog about his trip, which you can follow at the link below. You can also visit the links below to find out more about the Cultural Memory and British Cinema-going of the 1960s project and the work of Screen Machine.

Image: Matt Jones is visiting some remote towns and villages in the Scottish Highlands with mobile cinema Screen Machine.


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