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The last Bemboka picture show: 16mm cinema as rural community fundraiser in the 1950s

Chapter


Abstract


  • As Australian cinema history has become more sensitive to the history of film

    exhibition, its keynote stories have come under review. The assumed impact of

    television on theatrical exhibition, after its launch in Sydney and Melbourne in

    1956, is one of these stories; related to it is the more long-standing assumption that

    an exhibition market dominated in the 1950s by Hollywood product was the outcome

    of coercive business practices that had all but crushed local production. The

    impression left by this account is that Australian audiences were unwilling accomplices

    to America's success, and that Australian communities were culturally

    diminished by this. This larger argument about the effect of media consumption

    on audience preferences is easy to assert but difficult to prove. As yet, we know

    relatively little about the social and emotional impact on 1950s audiences of their

    long-term diet of foreign product, both in theatres and via imported television

    shows, and a substantial investment in oral history will be needed to address this.

Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • Bowles, K. 2011, 'The last Bemboka picture show: 16mm cinema as rural community fundraiser in the 1950s', in D. Biltereyst, R. G. Maltby & P. Meers (eds), Explorations in New Cinema History: Approaches and Case Studies, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA. pp. 310-321.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/1177

Book Title


  • Explorations in New Cinema History: Approaches and Case Studies

Start Page


  • 310

End Page


  • 321

Abstract


  • As Australian cinema history has become more sensitive to the history of film

    exhibition, its keynote stories have come under review. The assumed impact of

    television on theatrical exhibition, after its launch in Sydney and Melbourne in

    1956, is one of these stories; related to it is the more long-standing assumption that

    an exhibition market dominated in the 1950s by Hollywood product was the outcome

    of coercive business practices that had all but crushed local production. The

    impression left by this account is that Australian audiences were unwilling accomplices

    to America's success, and that Australian communities were culturally

    diminished by this. This larger argument about the effect of media consumption

    on audience preferences is easy to assert but difficult to prove. As yet, we know

    relatively little about the social and emotional impact on 1950s audiences of their

    long-term diet of foreign product, both in theatres and via imported television

    shows, and a substantial investment in oral history will be needed to address this.

Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • Bowles, K. 2011, 'The last Bemboka picture show: 16mm cinema as rural community fundraiser in the 1950s', in D. Biltereyst, R. G. Maltby & P. Meers (eds), Explorations in New Cinema History: Approaches and Case Studies, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA. pp. 310-321.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/1177

Book Title


  • Explorations in New Cinema History: Approaches and Case Studies

Start Page


  • 310

End Page


  • 321