Inside the cinema train: Britain, Empire and modernity in the Twentieth Century

Rebecca Harrison

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The article offers the first comprehensive examination of the cinema train in Britain. From film’s inception to the present day, journeys, movement and travel have been inscribed in the language, aesthetics and distribution of film. The paper argues that the history of the movie coach expands our understanding of exhibition and distribution networks in twentieth-century Britain, particularly with regard to news consumption. Using contemporary press reports, archived documents and the newsreels shown in the carriages, the article also articulates how narratives about the nation’s empire and self-projected modernity influenced the cinema train’s construction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)32-57
Number of pages25
JournalFilm History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • British cinema
  • railways
  • empire
  • modernity
  • newsreels

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