Now Playing: Early Moviegoing and the Regulation of Fun

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Overview

Using Toronto as a case study, and focusing on a period from the opening of the first theaters showcasing moving pictures in 1906 to the end of World War I, Now Playing locates the origins of our present-day mass audience in the culture of cities. Paul S. Moore examines the emergence of everyday moviegoing and its regulation through neglected details like fire safety, newspaper ads, serial films, and amusement taxes, connecting them to more familiar themes of studio ownership of theaters, censorship, and journalism. In Toronto-a foreign city inside the American mass market-patriotism ultimately comes to the fore as civic forms of showmanship turn the simple act of "going to the movies" into a form of citizenship.

About the Author:
Paul S. Moore is Assistant Professor in Sociology and in the Graduate Program in Communication and Culture at Ryerson University in Toronto

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…Now Playing does more than describe the emergence of cinema in Toronto. By documenting how moviegoing in Toronto became a mass practice, Moore demonstrates that the rapid rise of Hollywood in the late 1910s was not only due to industrial reorganization at the site of film production, but was also the consequence of local changes in film exhibition.” — Journal of Social History

“Writing from his North American viewpoint, Moore’s analysis of the filmic image and effects of the Great War in Europe on Canadian audiences in Toronto is fascinating.” — Urban Studies Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791474174
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 4/10/2008
  • Series: SUNY series, Horizons of Cinema
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul S. Moore is Assistant Professor in Sociology and in the Graduate Program in Communication and Culture at Ryerson University in Toronto.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction Early Moviegoing and the Regulation of Fun 1

1 Rendezvous for Particular People: The Local Roots of Mass Culture 17

2 Socially Combustible: Panicky People and Flammable Films 45

3 Showmanship in Formation: Incorporating the Civic Work of Competition 75

4 Senseless Censors and Startling Deeds: From Police Beat to Bureaucracy 113

5 Everybody's Going: Introducing the Mass Audience to Itself 153

Conclusion: Wartime Filmgoing as Citizenship 199

Works Cited 225

Index 239

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