Beyond “The Exhibition Straight-Jacket”: How British amateur film clubs created an alternative distribution and exhibition network, 1923-1933

Keith M. Johnston, Paul Frith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores an overlooked third strand of the 1920s British film industry’s distribution and exhibition practices: amateur filmmakers. Our analysis of the UK amateur networks that were created through the 1920s and into the early 1930s offers a challenge to accepted ideas that British cinema exhibition was limited to a small number of metropolitan mainstream or independent art cinemas. By tracing the amateur cinema’s move from an interaction with mainstream exhibition venues to the introduction of a national amateur network, we offer a more nuanced understanding of amateur film culture and its community-led model of distribution and exhibition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-70
Number of pages25
JournalFilm History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2023

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