Glasgow Film Theatre workshop (GF-92-000)

Press release for GFT Screenings, 1992

The precursor of Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain was a small-scale research project undertaken in 1991 by Annette Kuhn, then based in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of Glasgow. The research involved a summer spent in the British Library’s Newspaper Division reading (on paper, still, at this time) every issue of every popular film-related periodical published in Britain during the 1930s—an exhaustive and intense exercise that yielded intriguing new insights into the cinemagoing experience of the time and the kinds of films and film personalities that appealed distinctively to British cinemagoers. The project’s findings, presented at a conference in Norway the following year[1], were the foundation of ‘Popular Cinema in the 1930s’, a short season of screenings put on at Glasgow Film Theatre in late 1992. The season comprised One Hundred Men and a Girl (US, 1937); Cavalcade (US, 1933); Sunshine Susie (UK, 1931); The Littlest Rebel (US, 1935); Evergreen (UK, 1934); and The Ghost Goes West (UK, 1935). On 3 December, after a matinee screening of the Jessie Matthews vehicle Evergreen, audience members took part in an open workshop, which was recorded, in which the 1930s cinemagoers present were invited to share their cinemagoing memories. Speakers, some of whom joined CCINTB as participants when it was launched two years later, recalled their earliest cinema visits, described the Glasgow picture houses they went to, and between them mentioned close to forty films and as many film personalities from the 1920s and 1930s.

The recording of the workshop has since been transcribed and synced (see links below). Workshop participants who were later interviewed during CCINTB include:

  • Norman MacDonald
  • Tony (Anthony) Paterson

  • Audio-synced interview (1 of 1)
    Interview transcript

    Documents, Memorabilia and Related Links
    Glasgow home page
    GFT Screenings - flyers and programme notes (10 MB)
    'A new world opened: CMDA's Glasgow Homecoming' (blog post by Sarah Neely and Annette Kuhn)
    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs memorabilia (Bill Douglas Museum site)
    Jessie Matthews in Evergreen, 1934 (Youtube)
    'Tiptoe Through the Tulips' from The Gold Diggers of Broadway, 1929 (Youtube)

    [1] Annette Kuhn, ‘Researching Popular Film Fan Culture in 1930s Britain’, The Reception History of Film and Television, University of Bergen, Norway, June 1992.
    Publications drawing on findings of the 1991 project include:
    Kuhn, A. (1996). ‘Cinema Culture and Femininity in the 1930s’, in Christine Gledhill and Gillian Swanson (eds.), Nationalising Femininity. Manchester: Manchester University Press.