The Role Of Cinema In The 1960's

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Throughout the 1920’s cinema became established as the most popular and profitable mass media, and this continued until the 1960s. Historian A.J.P Taylor famously described it as “the essential social habit of the age”. People went to the movies as their main leisure activity. The social experience of cinema going was often an escape from what could be very difficult social conditions and the rise in cinema attendances during and just following World War Two were up to 31m per week in the UK alone, suggest this is a major factor. World War Two increased Hollywood’s dominance world-wide as most other countries had to severely cut back production and Hollywood films provided the escapist entertainment the audiences demanded across Europe and America.

Audiences steadily grew in the 1930s and reached a peak of over 1,600,000,000 in 1946. Following this audience slowly declined throughout the 1950s to a fraction of what they were in the 1960s and this decline continued until the 1980s. One of the reasons the studio system was so successful was because of the mass habit audience this means that everyone, especially working class went to the cinema as a habit rather than being persuaded to go by the release of
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They tried to repeat the success of the introduction of sound by changing the product to make it more attractive to the consumer than the small black and white screen: Cinemascope and other big screen variations to increase the viewing area, colour became the standard format for the first time and Dolby for higher quality sound. These changes caught on and have became standard, whereas other technology like 3D did not. The film product changed too big budget spectacular epics and musicals were made to lure the audience back. Sometimes this worked for example The Sound of Music (1965) is one of the most successful films ever, but often is failed for example Cleopatra (1963) and Hello Dolly

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