This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines the ideational and metaphysical imperatives that have seen to the formation, proliferation, and perpetuation of three institutions and their architecture across time: the library, the museum, and the movie-theater. It provides an analysis of the role of architectural theory and criticism as instruments of cultural control in the production of architectural types. The book demonstrates how architectural theories that have historically conditioned the formal production of the building types under study were themselves constituted as a form of resistance to contingency and representation. It provides an analytical outline of the history of the library as a building type. The book traces the history of the place and placement of art from the cabinet of curiosities to the modern art museum. It demonstrates how from inception, the movie-theatre has located cinema at an imaginary elsewhere by design.