Going to the Gaumont

HALL, Sheldon (2018). Going to the Gaumont. Picture House (42), 50-67.

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Abstract

In recent years, a number of studies have been published of the box-office performance of individual cinemas in the UK, based on surviving records. These studies have concerned cinemas in London, Macclesfield, Portsmouth and Southampton during periods ranging from the 1930s to the 1970s. The primary sources available for these venues, while extremely rare and valuable in what they reveal of programming and attendance patterns, have been limited in scope and have primarily been used as the basis for speculative analyses of popular taste in the respective localities. This paper adds to this series of studies, but draws on material which is considerably more detailed in its documentation of both box-office data and actual audience response than any which has been published to date. It concerns the Gaumont, Sheffield, between 1947 and 1958, during which time the theatre was the largest first-run cinema in the city and surrounding area. Operated and programmed by the Rank Organisation through its subsidiary, Circuits Management Association Ltd. (CMA), the Gaumont was a major regional venue whose records document a significant period of change in the history of British cinema-going, from its postwar peak of attendance to the onset of decline with the advent of commercial television and other rival forms of leisure and entertainment. The paper discusses the patterns of attendance at the cinema as revealed by the statistical data available from these records, along with qualitative information from the managers' detailed reports on audience response and feedback.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Humanities Research Centre
Departments: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Humanities
Depositing User: Sheldon Hall
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2018 14:48
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2018 01:56
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18723

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