More than making do: Rethinking cinema attendance in regional and rural Australia

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Cinema is one of the most popular forms of cultural entertainment in contemporary rural Australia, yet very little is understood about film circulation, presentation and consumption in non-metropolitan locations. Despite a growing interest in the situation of rural cinema by film historians, scholars have been slow to engage with the detail and meaning of its more recent past. The preoccupation with the connections between cinema and contemporary modernity have tended to over-estimate the significance of the metropolitan and to obscure the diversity and richness of cinema-going practice in Australia. Drawing on analysis of national box office data and material from a microstudy conducted in the rural town of Merimbula on the far south coast of New South Wales, this article seeks to contribute to addressing this gap. It considers three key questions—Who is watching films at the cinema in rural Australia? Why are they watching? And what do these acts of consumption mean?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-17
Number of pages11
JournalStudies in Australasian Cinema
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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