Film Culture in Transition

Ephemeral Cinema Spaces: Stories of Reinvention, Resistance and Community

by Maria A. Vélez-Serna (2020)

With changing technologies and social habits, the communal cinema experience would seem to be a legacy from another era. However, the last decade has seen a surge in interest for screening films in other, temporary public settings. This desire to turn pubs, galleries, parks, and even boats, into temporary cinema spaces is moved not only by a love for movies, but also a search for ways of being and working together. This book documents current practices of pop-up and site-specific cinema exhibition in the UK (with a focus on Scotland), tracing their links with historical forms of non-theatrical exhibition such as public hall cinema and fairground bioscopes. Through archival research, observation and interviews, the project asks how exhibitors create ephemeral social spaces, and how the combination of film and venue reinvents cinema as device and as social practice.

Introduction (11–20 )
1. Unstable constellations: Recognizing cinema out of place (21–38
2. Relocations: Mapping the non-theatrical field in Scotland (39–58
3. A desire for the civic: Community cinemas and volunteer work (59–90
4. Film clubs and subcultural cinephile spaces (91–118
5. On the ground: Participatory screenings in everyday spaces (119–144
6. Crafting the extraordinary: site-specificity and liveness (145–172
7. Against enclosure: DIY exhibition as prefigurative action (173–200
Coda (201–204
Acknowledgements (205–206
About the author (207–208
Bibliography (209–224
Index (225–228).

[ToC + Introduction (pdf):]

Maria Antonia Vélez-Serna teaches Film and Media at the University of Stirling. She studied at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the University of Glasgow. She co-edited Early Cinema in Scotland (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) and has also published on Colombian cinema history.


Vélez-Serna, Maria A[ntonia]
Ephemeral Cinema Spaces: Stories of Reinvention, Resistance and Community.
Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020, 228 p., 23 cm.
(Film Culture in Transition.).
ISBN 9789462986541 (hb., EUR 89,00)
ISBN 9789048537822 (pdf, EUR 88,99)
[Bibl. refs.]