The Major Minor Cinema: the Highlands and Islands Film Guild (1946-71), Dr Ian Goode

29-05-2017 at 5pm to 6pm

Location: ATRiuM, Zen Room (CA B403)

Audience: Public

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The Highlands and Islands Film Guild was a body set up immediately after the Second World War to provide film shows for the remote communities of the Crofter Counties. It was hoped that the continuation and improvement of the mobile film shows that extended into the Highlands during the war would improve facilities and counter depopulation. This non-commercial, mobile cinema service exploited the portable and accessible 16-mm apparatus and combined education and entertainment for communities in village halls and similar spaces. At its height in the early 1950s it grew into the biggest exhibitor of 16-mm film programmes in the UK and it is fondly remembered by local communities. This project aims to record the remembered experience of this cinema and to examine how this cinema was received and experienced by the different local communities in the period leading up to the uneven arrival of television in the Highlands and Islands through a series of case studies. The methodology for the project combines archival research, oral history and creative writing. This paper presents some of the early findings from the project and begins to outline the changing relationship between the institution, its local and central funding bodies, its audiences and its opponents in parts of the church in Scotland.

Dr Ian Goode is a Lecturer in Film and Television at the University of Glasgow and is Principal Investigator on the AHRCfunded project: The Major Minor Cinema: the Highlands and Islands Film Guild (1946-71). current research is focused on the histories and geographies of cinema in rural contexts and issues of non-theatrical film exhibition and the experience and understanding of cinema outside the city.