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An annotated bibliography.

A vast range of books on the subject of cinema exhibition have been published, many of which are not as authoritative as they aim to be, containing inaccuracies, anecdotal evidence, and other shortcomings that ultimately undermine their value as research tools. In addition, many bibliographies duplicate listings of well-worn, favorite titles, however worthy these may be. The following listing attempts, therefore, to circumvent these two issues by including only well-researched and accurate accounts and by widening the scope of enquiry to a worldwide perspective, encompassing texts which detail elements of cinema exhibition from a broad range of countries.



1. Brand, Simon. Picture Palaces and Flea-Pits: Eighty Years of Australians and the Pictures. Sydney: Dreamweaver Books, 1983. [An Informative guide, with copious illustrations of venues not represented in other publications.]

2. Groves, Don and Terry O'Brien. AHL: 100 Years of Entertainment. Sydney: Amalgamated Holdings Limited, 2010. [A lavishly illustrated history of the Union, later Greater Union, theatre chain, now absorbed into Amalgamated Holdings Limited.]

3. Thorne, Ross. Picture Palace Architecture in Australia. Melbourne: Sun Books, 1976. [A largely photo-based survey of its subject.]

4. --. Cinemas of Australia via USA. Sydney: University of Sydney--Department of Architecture, Planning & Allied Arts, 1981. [A thorough overview of the development of American and Australian cinema exhibition, and an exhaustive and detailed exploration of many native venues, large and small, major and minor.]


5. Lanken, Dane. Montreal Movie Palaces: Great Theatres of the Golden Era, 1884-1938. Waterloo, Ontario: Archives of Canadian Art, 1993. [This contribution to the considerable international field of local cinema histories takes an unusually thorough, and thus welcome, approach.]

6. Lindsay, John C. Turn Out The Stars Before Leaving: The Story of Canada's Theatres. Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills, 1983. [Possibly one of the most poetic of titles in the field, containing valuable nuggets of information and fine photographs; however, these are not always supported by the most stylish of texts.]

7. --. Palaces of the Night: Canada's Grand Theatres. Toronto: Lynx Images, 1999. [See 6 above.]


8. Champion, Virginie, Bertrand Lemoine and Claude Terreaux. Les Cinemas de Paris: 1945-1995. Paris: Delegation a l'Action Artistique de la Ville de Paris, 1995. [A systematic survey by arondissement (administrative district) of Parisian cinema--with a photograph of each.]

9. Freal, Vincent. Salles de Spectacles et D'Auditions. Paris: Roger Poulain Architecte, n.d. [c.1930. An elegant unbound folio edition, comprising descriptions, architectural plans and fine photographs.]

10. Lacloche, Francis. Architectures de Cinemas. Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981. [A focus on French cinema, alongside a comprehensive world overview, which includes countries unrepresented elsewhere in print.]

11. Lechesne, G. La Salle de Cinema Moderne: Regles et Reglements Concernant la Construction et l'Amenagement de la Salle, de la Scene et de la Cabine. Paris: Nouvelles Editions Film et Technique, 1955. [A largely technical treatise.]


12. Baacke, Rolf-Peter. Lichtspielhausarchitektur in Deutschland: von der Schaubude bis zum Kinopalast. Berlin: Frolich & Kaufmann, 1982. [A good, basic primer on the subject.]

13. Bode, Paul. Kinos: Filmtheater und Filmvorfuhrraume. Munchen: Georg D. W. Callwey, 1957. [An insightful survey from a practicing theatre architect, augmented with examples of his own work.]

14. Boeger, Peter. Architektur der Lichtspieltheater in Berlin: Bauten und Projekte 1919-1930. Berlin: Willmuth Arenhovel, 1993. [Berlin's cinematic architecture, which was greatly to influence foreign cinema design, is well represented in this study.]

15. Schliepmann, Hans. Lichtspieltheater: Eine Sammlung Ansgefuhrier Kinohauser in Gross--Berlin. Berlin: Ernst Wasmuth, 1914. [A revealing and fascinating, primarily pictorial, examination of influential early German cinemas.]

16. Zucker, Paul. Theater Und Lichtspielhauser. Berlin: Ernst Wasmuth, 1926. [A parallel to 15, concentrating on later buildings.]

17. Zucker, Paul and G. Otto Stindt. Lichtspielhauser Tonfilmtheater. Berlin: Ernst Wasmuth, 193l. [Detailing developments during the intervening five years between the publication of this study and 16, which period witnessed the introduction of synchronized sound to the movies.]


18. Vinnels, David and Brent Skelly. Bollywood Showplaces: Cinema Theatres in India. Cambridge: E & E Plumridge in collaboration with Decorum Books (London), 2002. [Comprehensive in its approach to the surprisingly opulent, often "high deco," movie theatre design of the Sub-Continent.]


19. Aloi, Roberto. Architetture per lo Spettacolo: con un Saggio Dell'Architetto Agnoldomenico Pica. Milan: Ulrico Hoepli, 1958. [An extremely comprehensive study of the building type.]

20. Cavalle, Mario. Tecnica delle Construzioni di Cinema e Teatri, Vols.l-3. Milano: Gorlich Editore, 1955. [A series of well illustrated books by a renowned exponent of cinema design.]

21. Ramelli, Antonio Cassi. Edifici per Gli Spettacoli: Teatri, Teatri di Massa, Cinema, Auditori, Radio e Cinecentri. Milan: Vallardi, 1956. [A highly technical publication, abundantly illustrated with relevant diagrams and plans.]


22. Kitao, H. (Ed). Movie Theater and Little Theater (Graphic Architecture series #41). n.p.: Shokoku-sha, n.d. [c.1960s. A rare window on the Western-influenced, often shortlived, Japanese buildings of this period.]


23. Salazar, Francisco Haroldo Alfaro and Alejandro Ochoa Vega. Espacio Distantes aun Vivos: Las Salas Cinematograficas de la Ciudad de Mexico. Unidad Xochimilco: Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, 1997. [The work exemplifies the diverse external influences upon the country's cinema stock.]

New Zealand

24. Brittenden, Wayne. Celluloid Circus: the Heyday of the New Zealand Picture Theatre, 1925-1970. Auckland: Godwit, 2008. [An excellent volume, which suffers from being almost entirely devoid of architectural attribution.]


25. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 1955. English details: Shcherbakov, Vladimir, V.E. Bykov, G.K. Belinin and D.B. Khazanov. The Architecture of Cinemas. Moscow: State Publishing House of Literature on Construction and Architecture, 1955. [The photographs and plans published in this volume provide an enlightening insight into early purpose-built twin cinemas.]


26. Cabus, Joan Munso. Els Cinemes de Barcelona. Barcelona: Edicions Proa, 1995. [A detailed and elegant work on the venues of a distinctive and elegant city.]

27. Serrano, Fernando Lopez. Madrid, Figuras Y Sombras: de los Teatros de Titeres a los Salones de Cine. Madrid: Editorial Complutense, 1999. [An extremely rich and varied heritage of theatre architecture is revealed in this rare local excursion into the genre.]


28. Furberg, Kjell (Ed). Biografen: the Picture Palace in Sweden. Stockholm: Swedish Museum of Architecture, 1989. [A brief introduction to its subject, which is amplified and further illustrated in 29.]

29. --. Cinema Theatres in Sweden. Stockholm: Prisma, 2000. [See 28.]


30. Atwell, David. Cathedrals of the Movies: A History of British Cinemas and their Audiences. London: Architectural Press, 1980. [This, the second serious attempt in modern times to illuminate the subject of cinema architecture, takes a far more sympathetic approach to its subject than 41.]

31. Brittain, Felix (Ed). Odeon Cavalcade: An Illustrated Souvenir Review of the Development and Progress of the Odeon Theatres. Narrative by C. St. Brelarde Seale. n.1. [London or Birmingham]: Odeon Theatres Ltd., n.d. [c.1937-39. An architectural examination of this British cinema circuit, its idiosyncratic design style, its equipment and its furnishing.]

32. Editor of the Architects' Journal. Architects' Journal: Cinema Number. 70. 1817 (13 November 1929). [Concentrates mainly on UK buildings, but also features structures in Continental Europe and the USA].

33. --. Modern Cinemas. London: Architectural Press, 1936. [A seminal work, illustrated with the works of, and featuring erudite articles by, leading British cinema architects.]

34. Eyles, Allen. ABC: the First Name in Entertainment. London: Cinema Theatre Association, 1993. [The first of a series of meticulously researched circuit histories by one of the two leading authorities on British cinemas.]

35. --. Gaumont British Cinemas. London: Cinema Theatre Association, 1996. [See 34.]

36. --. The Granada Theatres. London: Cinema Theatre Association, 1998. [See 34.]

37. --. Odeon Cinemas 1: Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation. London: Cinema Theatre Association, 2002. [See 34.]

38. --. Odeon Cinemas 2: From 1. Arthur Rank to the Multiplex. London: Cinema Theatre Association, 2005. [See 34.]

39. Gray, Richard. Cinemas in Britain: A History of Cinema Architecture. London: Lund Humphries and The Cinema Theatre Association, 2011. [A well-illustrated, highly knowledgeable guide through the subject by one of Britain's two foremost specialists on UK cinemas. Updated from the the 1996 first edition, Cinemas in Britain: One Hundred Years of Cinema Architecture.]

40. Shand, P. Morton. Modern Theatres and Cinemas. London: B. T. Batsford, 1930. [Generally accepted as extremely subjective, often comparing British cinemas unfavorably with contemporary German examples; it is nonetheless an influential text.]

41. Sharp, Dennis. The Picture Palace and Other Buildings for the Movies. London: Hugh Evelyn, 1969. Also, New York & Washington: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969. [The first modern attempt to offer a serious examination of the building type, despite its author's, at times, slightly disparaging view of his subject.]

42. Worthington, Clifford. The Influence of the Cinema on Con temporary Auditoria Design. London: Pitman, 1952. [Published post-WWII, this treatise nevertheless focuses on the prewar building type, with particular emphasis on the Odeon, Leicester Square.]


43. Hall, Ben M. The Best Remaining Seals: The Story of the Golden Age of the Movie Palace. New York: Bramhall House, 1961. [A beautifully written, but at times highly romanticized, tribute to cinema showman, Sam "Roxy" Rothafel, and an impressive homage to the brief reign of the American movie palace. A classic in the field.]

44. McKeon, Elizabeth and Linda Everett. Cinema Under the Stars: America's Love Affair with the Drive-In Movie Theatre. Nashville: Cumberland House, 1998. [A slim, but useful, illustrated introduction to this unique form of cinema exhibition].

45. Meloy, Arthur Sherman. Theatres and Motion Picture Houses: a Practical Treatise on the Proper Planning and Construction of Such Buildings, and Containing Useful Suggestions, Rules, and Data for the Benefit of Architects, Prospective Owners, etc. New York: Architects' Supply & Pub. Co., 1916. [An invaluable insight into early theory and practice concerning American movie houses.]

46. Morrison, Craig. Theatres. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006. [A valiant attempt to survey comprehensively the vast field which its title implies.]

47. Naylor, David. American Picture Palaces: The Architecture of Fantasy. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1981. [A classic text by a foremost authority on the subject. Indispensable.]

48. --. Great American Movie Theaters. Washington: The Preservation Press, 1987. [A gazetteer detailing the best of extant American picture palaces. Not entirely comprehensive, but nonetheless an invaluable foundation reference work.]

49. Sexton, Randolph Williams and Benjamin Franklin Betts. American Theatres of Today, Vol.1 : Illustrated with Plans, Sections, and Photographs of Exterior and Interior Details of Modern Motion Picture and Legitimate Theatres Throughout the United States. New York: Architectural Book Publishing Co., Paul Wenzel and Maurice Krakow, 1927. [Written at the apogee of American movie palace design, this work encapsulates the breadth of contemporary architectural thought.]

50. Sexton, R. W. (Ed). American Theatres of Today, Vol.2: Plans, Sections, and Photographs of Exterior and Interior Details. New York: Architectural Book Publishing Co., 1930. [Volume two (see 49) was written at the transition period between traditional and "Art Deco"/"Moderne" styles, and thus both exemplifies and expands upon these forms.]

51. Valentine, Maggie. The Show Starts on the Sidewalk: An Architectural History of the Movie Theatre. New Haven and London: Yale U P: 1994. [A well researched and illustrated review of the work of West Coast architect S. Charles Lee].

52. Valerio, Joseph M. and Daniel Friedman. Movie Palaces: Renaissance and Re-Use. Edited by Nancy Morison Ambler. New York: Educational Facilities Laboratories Division, Academy for Educational Development, 1982. [This early reference work on restoration and renovation of these buildings still bears scrutiny today.]


53. Foort, Reginald. The Cinema Organ: A Description in Non-Technical Language of a Fascinating Instrument and How it is Played. London, Bath, Melbourne, Toronto and New York: Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons, 1932. [Eighty years on, this remains an immensely erudite and lucid introduction to the complexities of the instrument.]

54. Junchen, David L. Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ, Vol.1. Pasadena: Showcase Publications, 1985. [Impressively detailed in its research of the surprisingly numerous manufacturers, both large and small, of these instruments. Continued in 55.]

55. --. Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ, Vol.2. Pasadena: Showcase Publications, 1989. [See above 54]

56. --. The Wurlitzer Pipe Organ: An Illustrated History. Compiled and edited by Jeff Weiler. n.l.: The American Theatre Organ Society, 2005. [Published in the name of the author thirteen years after his death, in recognition of his primary contribution to its research.]

57. Kaufmann, Preston J. Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ, Vol.3: Part One of the Mighty Wurlitzer Story. Pasadena: Showcase Publications, 1995. [A detailed history of the Wurlitzer musical instrument company and its initial foray into the manufacture of the Hope-Jones Unit Orchestra, which was later to make the company's name synonymous with the theatre organ.]

58. Whitworth, Reginald. The Cinema and Theatre Organ: A Comprehensive Description of this Instrument, its Constituent Parts, and its Uses. London: Musical Opinion, 1932. [This work assumes a slightly more detailed and technical approach to its subject than that of 53]


59. Alchin, Gordon. Manual of Law for the Cinema Trade. London: New Era Publishing Co., 1934. [A somewhat dry, but nonetheless illuminating, tome.]

60. Editors of the Kinematograph Weekly. How to Run a Picture Theatre: A Handbook for Proprietors, Managers, and Exhibitors. London: E. T. Heron and Co., 1914. [Replete with the latest ideas in the new discipline of cinema operation.]

61. Barry, John Francis and Epes Winthrop Sargent. Building Theatre Patronage: Management and Merchandising. New York: Chalmers Publishing Company, 1927. [Many of the tenets propounded in this early text are as apposite today as they were when first written.]

62. Franklin, Harold Brooks. Motion Picture Theatre Management. New York: George H. Doran, 1927. [An authoritative work by one of the foremost American circuit executives.]

63. Ricketson, Frank H. (Rick), Jr. The Management of Motion Picture Theatres. New York and London: McGraw-Hill, 1938. [A later work on a similar theme to that of 62, by another experienced exhibitor.]


64. Allvine, Glendon. The Greatest Fox of Them All. New York: Lyle Stuart, 1969. [An anecdotal account of William Fox's rise and fall in the movie business. Some fascinating detail and close reference to the words of Fox himself.]

65. Balaban, Carrie. Continuous Performance: the Story of A.J. Balaban. New York: A. J. Balaban Foundation, 1964. First published, New York: Putnam, 1942. [A rich insight into the establishment and development of the hugely important and influential, Chicago-based, Balaban and Katz circuit.]

66. Beardsley, Charles. Hollywood's Master Showman: the Legendary Sid Grauman. New York, London and Ontario: Cornwall Books, 1983. [An affectionate portrait of the operator of several Los Angeles movie palaces, famed for his staged film prologues.]

67. Irwin, Will. The House That Shadows Built. New York: Doubleday, Doran and Co., 1928. [Biography of Adolph Zukor, the man behind the exponential rise of the Paramount brand.]

68. Moorehead, Caroline. Sidney Bernstein: a Biography. London: Jonathan Cape, 1984. [Narrating the story of the prime mover behind Britain's distinctive Granada cinema chain.]

69. Sinclair, Upton. Upton Sinclair Presents William Fox. Los Angeles: Self-Published, 1933. [Verging on the polemical, this account of the personal rise and fall of one of the great movie moguls nonetheless offers unique insights into the financial machinations surrounding the meteoric expansion and equally spectacular downfall of the Fox companies.]


70. Better Theatres [A monthly American journal reviewing contemporary cinema building projects, their equipment and management, beginning in 1923.]

71. Cinema Theatre Association Bulletin [Currently bi-monthly publication with news and views of the current state of British cinema infrastructure.]

72. Ideal Kinema [British equivalent of 70, beginning in 1927.]

73. Kinematograph Year Book [Annual, published from 1914 to 1971, especially useful for its gazetteer of then extant British cinemas.]

74. Marquee [Currently quarterly journal of the Theatre Historical Society of America. Editions from 1969 to 2004 are particularly useful tools for research.]

75. Picture House [Currently annual magazine of the Cinema Theatre Association, with in-depth articles on diverse aspects of cinema exhibition.]

76. Theatre Catalog [Published initially in 1939 as "Exhibitor Catalog," it assumed the soubriquet "Theatre Catalog" the following year. This annual publication, often running to over 400 pages, surveyed the previous year's architectural, technical and operational developments.]

77. Theatre Organ [The journal of the American Theatre Organ Society. Articles often contain details and photographs of cinema buildings. A past series "An Acre of Seats in a Garden of Dreams" featured a single movie theatre in each issue.]
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Title Annotation:movie theaters
Author:Hatcher, Tim; Conrad, Dean
Publication:Post Script
Article Type:Bibliography
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 22, 2011
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