Discuss the similarities between the picture house and theme parks ie disneyland

GG3017: The Spaces and Subjects of Modernity
Denis Linehan

A society become modern when one of it chief occupations in the production and consumption of images
Susan Sontag
The development of photography and film had profound effects in altering modes of behaviour, development of new arts form and industries, shifting our notion of vision and in particular our notions of ourselves. This lecture will contextualise the development of the cinema in the modern city and in particular will consider it as a space of social ordering (of crowds and the self). Themes will include: brief origins of cinema; the meaning of the image, the development of the picturehouse/space of exhibition/; the consequences of mass recreation; the issues of identity formation in modern spaces.

Learning Outcomes

On the basis of this lecture and associated readings you should expect to be able to:

outline briefly the origins of modern cinema and it initial reception by the public
discuss how the production of images altered ways of knowing the self
speculate on the impacts of the cinema on the development of new recreational form
discuss the impacts the cinema had on the constitution of modern identity
consider the cinema, especially the Picturehouseas a modern place


Tony Balio ed The American Film Industry: [Section I: chapter1-4]
Walter Benjamin, 1987, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction in his Illuminations
David Clake 1997 The Cinematic City Routledge
Guy Debord, 1970 Society of the Spectacle, Black and Red
N Denzin 1995 The Cinematic Society: the voyeurs gaze Sage
Liam O Leary 1990 Cinema Ireland 1896-1950, National Library of Ireland
John Jervis, 1998The Image, the Spectral and the Spectacle: technologies of the visualin his Exploring the Modern, Blackwell. *
Garth Jowety 1976 The Recreation Revolution in his Film: the democratic art, Little Brown and Company
Richard Koszarski, 1990 An Evenings Entertainment: the age of the silent feature picture 1915-1928, University of California Press
Charles Musser 1994, The Emergence of Cinema, University of California Press
J. Orr, 1993 Cinema and Modernity, Polity
Susan Sontag, 1987 On Photography, Penguin
Paul Virilio 1984 War and Cinema, Verso

There is an luxurious range of texts at 791-792 on Q+3 which you should consider as background to this lecture


Irish Film Institute
Cinemas in the Netherlands
American Picture Palaces a well-illustrated socio-historical look at the golden age of the American movie palace
Biografer i Sverige Kjell Furbergs site on the cinemas of Sweden
Conacher organs the history and restoration of this comparatively little-known theatre organ type
The John Eberson Archive details of a collection of drawings by this cinema architect
The KiMo, Albequerque, USA
Londons theatres
Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema
The Luxor, Twickenham details of one of the finest of South West Londons cinemas, now demolished
The Majestic, Chico nformation about a very old US cinema
The Movie Palace Locator a state-by-state index of important and interesting US cinemas
New Zealand Cinemas a polished look at Kiwi cinema heritage (Kiwi? Polish? Suit yourselves.)
Heritiage Site of Classical British Cinemas
The Theatre Historical Society of the USA  the American equivalent of the Cinema Theatre Association
NEW  CTA Online  the Cinema Theatre Association arrives online
The Cinema Organ Society

GG3017: The Spaces and Subjects of Modernity
Denis Linehan

The Idea of Disneyland is a simple one; it will be a place for people to find happiness and knowledge
Walt Disney

It will be a city that caters to the people as a service function. It will be a planned, controlled community, a showcase for American industry, and research, schools, cultural and educational opportunities. In EPCOT there will be no landowners and therefore no voting control. No slum areas because we will not let them develop. People will rent houses instead of buying them, and at modest rentals. There will be no retirees. Everyone must be employed.

Walt Disney on EPCOT (Experimental Protocol Community of Tomorrow)

[1]Disneyland is the perfect model of all the entangled orders of the simulcra. It is first of all a play of illusions and phantasms: the Pirates, the Frontier, the Future World etc. This imaginary world is supposed to ensure the success of the operation. But what attracts the crowds the most is without doubt the social microcosm. the religious , miniaturized pleasure of real America, of it constraints and joys...[2].Disneyland exists in order to hide that it is the Realcountry of all RealAmerican that is Disneyland. Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that rest is real, whereas all of Los Angeles and the America that surrounds it are no longer real, but belong to the hyperreal order and to the order of simulation. It is no longer a question of a false representation of reality, but of concealing the fact that the real is no longer real, and thus of saving the reality principle....[3]Disneyland is not the only one however. Enchanted Village Magic Mountain, Marine World; Los Angeles is surrounded by these imaginary stations that feed reality, the energy of the real to a city whose mystery is precisely that of being anything but a network of incessant, unreal circulation a city of incredible proportions but without space, without dimension. As much as electrical and atomic power stations, as much as cinema studios, this city, which is no longer anything but an immense scenario and a perpetual pan shot, needs this old imaginary like a sympathetic nervous system made up of childhood signals and faked phantasms.
Jean Baudrillard, Simulara and Simulation 1981 p12-13

This lecture explores the development of theme parks and other themed spaces and considers them as modern places. It is argued that while theme parks present as playful spectacles, they are in fact highly rational and instrumental types of spaces. Theme parks like Disney World are landscapes of power, which through design and architectural form disguise the economic and political principals which they serve, and the environmental problems they often create. The lecture considers how themed spaces exist as locations for commodification and evaluates their emergence in the new cultural economies of globalisation. The modernities of the theme-park is explored further in the context of Baudrillards contention that they are hyper-real, and as such are representative of the cultural conditions of late-modernity.
Learning Outcomes

Outline the development of Disney theme parks
Explore the utopian dimensions of Disneys mission
Examine the themepark as an instrumental space
Speculate on the theming of urban space and the emergence of Postmodern cultural economies


K. Archer, 1997 The limits to the imagineered city: sociospatial polarization in Orlando Economic Geography 73, no.3 (1997) p. 322-336
Jean Baudrillard 1994 (1981) The Precession of Simulacra in his Simulacra and Simulation The University of Michigan Press
Jean Baudrillard Disneyworld Company e025.html
Beth Dunlop 1996 The Art of Disney Architecture, Harry Abrams Inc New York
F Harris 1991 Mickey comes to Europe Geographical Magazine 63, no.4 (1991) p. 3437
Karal Ann 1997 Marling Designing Disneys Theme Parks, Flammarion, Paris
Fintan O Toole, 1994, Celtworld in his Black Hole, Green Card: the disappearance of Ireland
George Ritzer and Allan Liska McDisneyization and Post-Tourism in Chris Rojek John Urry Touring Cultures: transformation of Travel and Theory, Routledge, London.
Alexander Wilson 1994 The Betrayal of the Future: Walt Disneys EPCOT centre in Eric Smoodin Disney Discour