Welcome to the Exhibition & Reception of American Popular Film in Canada.
American film has held a consistent place within Canadian popular culture since the turn of the 20th Century. Detailed local histories of this presence, however, are few and far between. While film historians are beginning to address this oversight, numerous questions remain. Which American films were popular in Canadian towns and cities at certain historical junctures? Where and when did these films play? How they were framed and marketed by advertisers and exhibitors? How did they fit into local practices of leisure and consumption? Who attended them and why? This project is designed to facilitate the answering of these, and other, significant questions about the position and functioning of American film north of the U.S. border.
Drawing from newspapers and periodicals, local histories, and archival documents, this site will begin the process of creating a comprehensive database of American film in Canada during the 20th Century. It will allow researchers and visitors to access information on films that were screened in Canada during this time, on the performers and other personnel involved in making, distributing and exhibiting these films, and on the Canadian venues at which such films were screened publicly. It will also endeavor to create an 'exhibition calendar' of American film in Canada, recording the screening schedules at Canadian movie theatres and thus enabling study of both the exhibition practices of individual venues and the appearance and movement of individual film texts.
Initially, this database will focus on the exhibition of American film in South-Western Ontario during WWII, thereby facilitating examination of the place of such films within the home front culture of one of Canada's most populous regions at the height of the Classical Hollywood system. Additional information and materials will be added as time and resources permit.