Hollywood versus locality. The (un-)equal availability of European and American films in Ghent in the 1930sIn line with the international shift from film studies to new cinema history, in this article we rethink the acclaimed American dominance in film supply in the 1930s in the city of Ghent, Belgium. In the first part we briefly sketch the context of the varied film-showing and cinema-going culture in Ghent during the 1930s. The second, empirical part consists of an analysis of the findings derived from the showing and programming databases from 1933 to 1936.  Particular attention is paid to the profile of the cinema theatres, and the trends in the distribution, prolongation and retakes of European and American film productions. The article shows the impact of the historical context of the theatre, the programming strategies used by the cinema management to target different audiences, the preferred trajectory of the American distributors, and the importance of the spoken language for the cinema experience. It reveals a more modest presence of the American feature film during the heyday of the Hollywood studio system. They were successful in smaller district theatres rather than the central film palaces, which were oriented to European productions.

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
dx.doi.org/10.18146/tmg.578
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis
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TMG Journal for Media History; Vol 13, No 2 (2010): Het filmbedrijf en de markt; 60-79

Van de Vijver, Lies, & Biltereyst, Daniël. (2010). Hollywood versus lokaliteit. Het (on)gelijke aanbod van Amerikaanse en Europese film in de jaren dertig in Gent. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 13(2), 60–79. doi:10.18146/tmg.578