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Moviegoing in America: From Nickelodeons to Movie Palaces to IMAX to Streaming

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0260
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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The Fox Theater in Atlanta

Ever since the movie industry was born in the 1890s, audiences have been thrilled to watch stories come to life on the big screen. At first, this screen wasn’t very big—nor was attending the stuffy local nickelodeon all that pleasant. But by the 1920s, extravagant movie palaces were constructed in downtowns all over the country and moviegoing was transformed into a luxury experience.

Sadly, this would end in the 1950s with the rise of the suburbs and the explosion of drive-in theaters, followed by shopping-mall multiplexes. Today, going to the movies can be either overwhelming—at 7-story IMAX theaters—or thoroughly unpleasant, as your neighbor gobbles nachos and beer and teenagers talk and text throughout the film. And with the advent of the pandemic, moviegoing is now just a memory for many of us.

Brian Rose, a professor emeritus at Fordham University, looks at the fascinating history of movie theaters, examines how the experience of moviegoing has changed over the decades, and considers whether movie theaters will even survive in the age of streaming services.

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