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The evolution of entertainment consumption and the emergence of cinema 1890-1940

By Gerben Bakker


At the end of the nineteenth century, in the era of the second industrial revolution, falling working hours, rising disposable income, increasing urbanisation, rapidly expanding transport networks and strong population growth resulted in a sharp rise in the demand for entertainment. Initially, the expenditure was spread across different categories, such as live entertainment, sports, music, bowling alleys or skating rinks. One of these categories was cinematographic entertainment, a new service, based on a new technology. Initially it seemed not more than a fad, a novelty shown at fairs, but it quickly emerged as the dominant form of popular entertainment. This paper argues that the take-off of cinema was largely demand-driven, and that, in an evolutionary process, consumers allocated more and more expenditure to cinema. It will analyse how consumer habits and practices evolved with the new cinema technology and led to the formation of a new product/service

Topics: HD Industries. Land use. Labor, PN1993 Motion Pictures
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S1529-2134(07)10005-3
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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