This is a select bibliography of works that relate to picturgoing and audiences, divided into texts on cinemas and magic lanterns (and ‘pre-cinema’ technologies). Hyperlinked entries are freely available online.


  • Abel, Richard, Americanizing the Movies and “Movie-Mad” Audiences, 1910-1914 (Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2006)
  • Abel, Richard (ed.), Encyclopedia of Early Cinema (Abingdon/New York: Routledge, 2005)
  • Altenloh, Emilie, Zur Soziologie des Kino: Die Kino-Unternehmung und die Sozialen Schichten Ihrer Besucher (Jena: Verglegt Bei Eugen Diederichs, 1914), translated as ‘A Sociology of the Cinema: the Audience,’ Screen, vol. 42 no. 3, Autumn 2001
  • Aronson, Michael, Nickelodeon City: Pittsburgh at the Movies, 1905-1929 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008)
  • Breakwell, Ian and Paul Hammond (eds.), Seeing in the Dark: A Compendium of Cinemagoing (London: Serpent’s Tail, 1990)
  • Butsch, Richard, The Making of American Audiences: From Stage to Television, 1750-1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
  • Christie, Ian (ed.), Audiences: Defining and Researching Screen Entertainment Reception (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012)
  • Docherty, David, David Morrison and Michael Tracey (eds.), The Last Picture Show? Britain’s Changing Film Audiences (London: British Film Institute, 1987)
  • Farmer, Richard, Cinemas and Cinemagoing in Wartime Britain, 1939-45: The Utility Dream Palace (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016)
  • Field, Audrey, Picture Palace: A Social History of the Cinema (London: Gentry Books, 1974)
  • Fuller, Kathryn H. Fuller, At the Picture Show: Small-Town Audiences and the Creation of Movie Fan Culture (Washington/London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996)
  • Fuller-Seely, Kathryn (ed.), Hollywood in the Neighborhood Historical Case Studies of Local Moviegoing (Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2008)
  • Giles, Jane, Scala Cinema 1978-1993 (London: FAB Press, 2018)
  • Gomery, Douglas, Shared Pleasures: A History of Movie Presentation in the United States (London: British Film Institute, 1992)
  • Griffiths, Trevor, The Cinema and Cinema-going in Scotland, 1896-1950 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013)
  • Hansen, Miriam, Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film (London/Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991)
  • Horrall, Andrew, Popular Culture in London c.1890-1918: The Transformation of Entertainment [Studies in Popular Culture series] (Manchester/New York: Manchester University Press, 2001)
  • Hutchings, Sarah, John Riches (eds.), Back Row Brighton: Cinema-going in Brighton and Hove (Brighton: QueenSpark Book, 2009)
  • Jowett, Garth (for the American Film Institute), Film: The Democratic Art (Boston/Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1976)
  • Jowett, Garth, Ian C. Jarvie and Kathryn H. Fuller (eds.), Children and the Movies: Media Influence and the Payne Fund Controversy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)
  • Kuhn, Annette, An Everyday Magic: Cinema and Cultural Memory (London: I.B. Tauris, 2002)
  • Maltby, Richard, Melvyn Stokes and Robert C. Allen (eds.), Going to the Movies: Hollywood and the Social Experience of Cinema (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2007)
  • Moran, Albert and Karina Aveyard (eds.), Watching Films: New Perspectives on Movie-going, Exhibition and Reception (Bristol: Intellect, 2013)
  • Nasaw, David, Going Out: The Rise and Fall of Public Amusements (New York: Basic Books, 1993)
  • O’Brien, Margaret and Allen Eyles (eds.), Enter the Dreamhouse: Memories of Cinemas in South London from the Twenties to the Sixties (London: BFI, 1993)
  • Pedullà, Gabriele, In Broad Daylight: Movies and Spectators After the Cinema (London: Verso, 2012)
  • Rabinovitz, Lauren, Electric Dreamland: Amusement Parks, Movies, and American Modernity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012)
  • Rabinovitz, Lauren, For the Love of Pleasure: Women, Movies and Culture in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago (New Brunswick, NJ/London: Rutgers University Press, 1998)
  • Rhodes, Gary D., The Perils of Moviegoing in America, 1896-1950 (New York: Continuum, 2012)
  • Rosenzweig, Roy, Eight hours for what we will: Workers and leisure in an industrial city, 1870-1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983)
  • Sanders, Don and Susan, Drive-in Movie Memories: Popcorn and Romance Under the Stars (Middleton NH: Carriage House Publishing Company, 2000)
  • Schechter, Harold and Michael Waters (eds.), Picturehouse Poems: Poems About the Movies (Everyman Library’s Pocket Poets) (Everyman, 2019)
  • Sedgwick, John, Popular Filmgoing in 1930s Britain: A Choice of Pleasures (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2000)
  • Segrave, Kerry, Drive-in Theaters: A History from Their Inception in 1933 (Jefferson NC: McFarland, 1993)
  • Smoodin, Eric, Paris in the Dark: Going to the Movies in the City of Light, 1930–1950 (Duke University Press Books, 2020)
  • Springhall, John, Youth, Popular Culture and Moral Panics: Penny Gaffs to Gangsta-Rap, 1830-1996 (Houndmills/London: Macmillan Press, 1998)
  • Srinivas, Lakshmi, House Full: Indian Cinema and the Active Audience (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016)
  • Staples, Terry, All Pals Together: The Story of Children’s Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997)
  • Stead, Lisa, Off to the Pictures: Cinemagoing, Women’s Writing and Movie Culture in Interwar Britain (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018)
  • Stempel, Tom, American Audiences on Movies and Moviegoing (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2001)
  • Stokes, Melvyn and Richard Maltby (eds.), American Movie Audiences: From the Turn of the Century to the Early Sound Era (London: BFI, 1999)
  • Tsivian, Yuri, Early Cinema in Russia and its Cultural Reception (Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 1998)
  • Waller, Gregory A., Main Street Amusements: Movies and Commercial Entertainment in a Southern City, 1896-1930 (Washington/London: Smithsonian institution Press, 1995)
  • Waller, Gregory A. (ed.), Moviegoing in America: A Sourcebook in the History of Film Exhibition (Malden, Ma./Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2002)

Magic lanterns (and ‘pre-cinema’ technologies)

  • Balzer, Richard, Peepshows: A Visual History (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1998)
  • Hecht, Hermann (ed. Ann Hecht), Pre-Cinema History: An Encyclopaedia and Annotated Bibliography of the Moving Image Before 1896 (London: Bowker-Saur, 1993)
  • Heard, Mervyn, Phantasmagoria: The Secret Life of the Magic Lantern (Hastings: The Prohection Box, 2006)
  • Humphries, Steve, Victorian Britain through the Magic Lantern (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1989)
  • Robinson, David, Stephen Herbert and Richard Crangle (eds.), Encyclopedia of the Magic Lantern (London: The Magic Lantern Society, 2001)

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