The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History presents the most recent approaches and methods in the study of the social experience of cinema, from its origins in vaudeville and traveling exhibitions to the multiplexes of today.

Exploring its history from the perspective of the cinemagoer, the study of new cinema history examines the circulation and consumption of cinema, the political and legal structures that underpinned its activities, the place that it occupied in the lives of its audiences and the traces that it left in their memories. Using a broad range of methods from the statistical analyses of box office economics to ethnography, oral history, and memory studies, this approach has brought about an undisputable change in how we study cinema, and the questions we ask about its history. This companion examines the place, space, and practices of film exhibition and programming; the questions of gender and ethnicity within the cinematic experience; and the ways in which audiences gave meaning to cinemagoing practices, specific films, stars, and venues, and its operation as a site of social and cultural exchange from Detroit and Laredo to Bandung and Chennai. Contributors demonstrate how the digitization of source materials and the use of digital research tools have enabled them to map previously unexplored aspects of cinema’s business and social history and undertake comparative analysis of the diversity of the social experience of cinema across regional, national, and continental boundaries.

With contributions from leading scholars in the field, The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History enlarges and refines our understanding of cinema’s place in the social history of the twentieth century.

chapter |12 pages


The scope of new cinema history

part I|3 pages

Reflections and comments

chapter 1|12 pages

Connections, intermediality, and the anti-archive

A conversation with Robert C. Allen

chapter 2|11 pages

Film history, cultural memory, and the experience of cinema

A conversation with Annette Kuhn

chapter 3|7 pages

How I became a new cinema historian

Edited ByMelvyn Stokes

chapter 5|9 pages

The new nontheatrical cinema history?

part II|3 pages

Challenges and opportunities

chapter 7|13 pages

Arclights and zoom lenses

Searching for influential exhibitors in film history’s big data
Edited ByEric Hoyt

chapter 8|16 pages

Comparing historical cinema cultures

Reflections on new cinema history and comparison with a cross-national case study on Antwerp and Rotterdam

chapter 9|11 pages

The archeology of itinerant film exhibition

Unpacking the Brinton Entertainment Company Collection

chapter 10|11 pages

Cinema history as social history

Retrospect and prospect

part III|3 pages

Distribution and trade

chapter 11|9 pages

Early film stars in trade journals and newspapers

Data-based research on global distribution and local exhibition

chapter 13|14 pages

“Perhaps everyone has forgotten just how pictures are shown to the public”

Continuous performance and double billing in the 1930s

chapter 14|14 pages

“When in doubt, Showcase”

The rise and fall of United Artists’ revolutionary New York distribution pattern
Edited ByZoë Wallin

chapter 15|11 pages

When distributors’ trash becomes exhibitors’ treasure

Rethinking film success and failure

part IV|3 pages

Exhibition, space, and place

chapter 16|15 pages

Roll the credits

Gender, geography, and the people’s history of cinema

chapter 18|12 pages

Currents of empire

Transport, electricity, and early film exhibition in colonial Indonesia
Edited ByDafna Ruppin

chapter 20|14 pages

Exhibiting Films in a Predominantly Mexican American Market

The case of Laredo, Texas, a small USA–Mexico border town, 1896–1960

part V|2 pages

Programming, popularity, and film

chapter 21|16 pages

Popular filmgoing in mid-1950s Milan

Opening up the “black box”

chapter 23|9 pages

To be Continued …

Seriality, cyclicality, and the new cinema history
Edited ByTim Snelson

chapter 24|14 pages

Kino-Barons and Noble Minds

Specifics of film exhibition beyond commercial entertainment

chapter 26|12 pages

The evergreens and mayflies of film history

The age distribution of films in exhibition
Edited ByKarel Dibbets

part VI|14 pages

Audiences, reception, and cinemagoing experiences

chapter 27|14 pages

Analyzing memories through video-interviews

A case study of post-war Italian cinemagoing

chapter 28|10 pages

Social sense and embodied sensibility

Towards a historical phenomenology of filmgoing

chapter 29|13 pages

“It Pays to Plan ’em!”

The newspaper movie directory and the paternal logic of mass consumption
Edited ByPaul S. Moore

chapter 30|9 pages

Why Young People Still Go to the Movies

Historical and contemporary cinemagoing audiences in Belgium

chapter 31|8 pages

For Many but not for All

Italian film history and the circumstantial value of audience studies