In this authoritative work, Seiler and Seiler argue that theestablishment and development of moviegoing and movie exhibition inPrairie Canada is best understood in the context of changinglate-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century social, economic,and technological developments. From the first entrepreneurs whoattempted to lure customers into movie exhibition halls, to the digitalrevolution and its impact on moviegoing, Reel Time highlightsthe pivotal role of amusement venues in shaping the leisure activitiesof working- and middle-class people across North America.
As marketing efforts, the lavish interiors of the movie palace andthe romantic view of the local movie theatre concealed a competitiveenvironment in which producers, exhibitors, and distributors tried tomonopolize the industry and drive their rivals out of business. Thepitched battles and power struggles between national movie theatrechains took place at the same time that movie exhibitors launchedcampaigns to reassure moviegoers that theatres were no longer the"unclean and immoral places of amusement" of yesteryear.Under the leadership of impresarios, the movie theatre rose up fromthese attacks to become an important social and cultural centre -one deemed "suitable for women and children."
An innovative examination of moviegoing as a social practice andmovie exhibition as a commercial enterprise, Reel Time depictshow the industry shaped the development of the Canadian Prairie Westand propelled the region into the modern era.
Robert M. Seiler is an associate professor emeritus incommunication and culture at the University of Calgary. TamaraP. Seiler is a professor emeritus of Canadian studies at theUniversity of Calgary. Reel Time is their second jointpublication.
List of Illustrations / ix Acknowledgements / xiii Introduction / 3 Pioneers / 17 Introducing Cinema to Prairie Canada: Movie Exhibition, 1896 to 1904/ 43 Movie Exhibition During the Nickelodeon Era, 1905 to 1913 /73 Reforms and Regulations: Movie Censorship in the Prairie West /115 Grand Entertainment: Movie Exhibition During the Picture Palace Era,1914 to 1932 / 147 Famous Players Canadian Corporation Limited / 177 The Struggle for Control: Odeon Theatres (Canada) Limited /215 Consolidation / 247 Conclusion: From Peephole Parlor to Multiplex and Beyond /263 Notes / 303 Index / 359