(Italian) Cinemas and Moviegoing. Places, businesses, people

(Italian) Cinemas and Moviegoing. Places, businesses, people


Comunicazioni Sociali — Journal of Media, Performing Arts and Cultural Studies

(Italian) Cinemas and Moviegoing. Places, businesses, people

Edited by Paola Dalla Torre, Mariagrazia Fanchi, Elena Mosconi 

The new historiographical paradigms (Biltereyst, Malby, Meers 2019), the relevant boost of film audience studies provided by networks such as HoMER, and the convergence of an increasing number of disciplines around cinema history: geography (Hallam, Roberts 2014; Treveri Gennari, O’Rawe, Hipkins 2019; Celata, Simone 2023), ethnography (Treveri Gennari et al, 2020; Stokes, Jones, Pett 2022; Antichi, Fedele, Garofalo 2023; Wessels et al 2022; Kuhn 2023), phenomenology (Hanich 2017), have, in recent years, produced an important growth in historical knowledge about movie theatres, the public, and, more generally, cinema experiences.

Data-driven approaches and open science models (Deb Verhoeven’s work has been pivotal in this regard) have in addition contributed to deeply transforming the work of scholars, even in traditional fields, such as early cinema (Slugan, Biltereyst 2022), introducing new perspectives, encouraging to intersect many and different sources (Egan-Smith-Terrill, 2021), and developing longitudinal and comparative studies (van Oort, Whitehead, 2023). 

The research on movie theatres and moviegoing in Italy has certainly benefited from this conjuncture. However, some aspects and periods have been investigated less (systematically) than others. For example, the long and non-linear phase of the decline of cinemas and cinema-going in Italy, from the 1960s to the 1980s and the subsequent revival, from the second half of the 1990s have been understudied; cinema-going in rural areas and Southern regions, despite being the subject of some pioneering research (Pinna et al, 1958), still largely needs to be investigated. Likewise, the history of entrepreneurs running cinemas in Italy – predominantly family-run enterprises – is a relatively unexplored field. The history of the professions that revolve around cinema (managers, projectionists, cashiers…), in turn need to be completely reconstructed. In the same way, the experience of moviegoers, their relationship with cinema and the role that the viewing experience has taken on in their lives continue to offer many opportunities for study and investigation, strengthened by new investigation techniques and methodologies.

Considering this landscape, this special issue aims to analyze how cinema and movie theatres shaped the history of territories, businesses, and people in the past and present, with a particular but non-exclusive focus on the case of Italy.

Special attention will be given to papers proposing new methodologies and perspectives, also using data-driven approaches, and/or papers involving comparative studies with the case of Italy. 

Proposals on non-standard cinemas (such as small gauge cinemas, parish cinemas, drive-in cinemas, cinemas in hospitals) or ephemeral cinemas (Vélez-Serna 2020) (arenas, travelling cinemas…) are also encouraged.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

- Ephemeral cinemas (Vélez-Serna 2020);

- Cinemas and public fundings;

- Cinemas and public regulations:

- Geospatial analysis of cinemas;

- Cinemas in depressed areas;

- Cinemas in industrial districts;

- Cinemas in Northern and Southern Italy;

- Cinemas and tourist areas;

- Cinema exhibition: management models;

- Movie theatres as family businesses;

- History of male/female cinema exhibitors;

- Cinemas as a workplace: roles and professions;

- Cinemas and moviegoing: data, memories, ephemerals;

- Moviegoing in urban vs. rural areas;

- Cinemas and fragile audiences: Cinemas and minors, Cinemas and female audiences, Cinemas and disadvantaged audiences, Cinemas and ‘second-generation’ audiences.

This issue of Comunicazioni Sociali: Journal of Media, Performing Arts e Cultural Studies is part of the project CinEx. Spaces, practices, and politics of Italian cinema exhibition, funded by the Italian Ministry of University (PRIN 2020) and devoted to the construction of an open and relational database of Italian movie theatres. Part of the same project is the 2024 special issue of Schermi. Storie e culture del cinema e dei media in Italia dedicated to “Movie Theatre ‘Italian Style’. Cultural Histories of an Architectonic, Technological, and Social Space. The two calls for papers are built in collaboration and have the same deadlines and release schedules.

Proposals should be sent by  March 1, 2024 to the following addressesredazione.cs@unicatt.it;  mariagrazia.fanchi@unicatt.it; p.dallatorre@lumsa.it; elena.mosconi@unipv.it

Abstracts should be between 300 to 400 words in length (in English). All submissions should include 5 keywords, name of author(s), institutional affiliation, contact details and a short bio (150 words) for each author.

Acceptance will be notified by March 15, 2024. If the proposal is accepted, the author(s) will be asked to submit the full article in English by July 31, 2024. Articles must not exceed 5’000/6’000-words (including references).

For editorial guidelines, please refer to the section “Guide for the authors” on the “Comunicazioni sociali” website: http://comunicazionisociali.vitaepensiero.com 

Contributions will be submitted to a double-blind peer review process.

Issue number 3.2024 of “Comunicazioni Sociali” will be published in December 2024.

“Comunicazioni Sociali” is an OPEN ACCESS journal, indexed in Scopus, and it is an A-class rated journal by ANVUR in Cinema, photography, and television (L-ART/06), Performing arts (L-ART/05), and Sociology of culture and communication (SPS/08).



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