In Italy, the history of audiences has played a marginal role in film and media studies. At least until the second half of the 1990s, it received scant attention and was largely peripheral in academic debates, as film studies still revolved entirely around directors and movies. This chapter seeks primarily to demonstrate the heuristic value of audience research for the Italian history of cinema and for Italian history tout court. Indeed, an examination of the cinematic experience and its social, cultural, and political function through the lens of audiences reveals new elements that allow us to recount the past in a new and clearer way.