Karen Crowe



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of the Arts, English and Media


This thesis adopts a constructionist approach to meaning-making, adapted by feminists and poststructuralist geographers to conceptualise the relationships between people and place identities. I use these theoretical tools to discuss four small NSW towns where single-screen cinemas constructed in the mid-first half of the 20th Century have been the subject of grassroots campaigns and State government policies supporting their preservation and restoration as community cinemas between 1977-2005. Campaign, place-making and policy discourses surrounding these projects suggest that the value of these cinemas now lies in their significance for an ongoing sense of community in their towns. For some, cinema preservation campaigns intensify connections by offering new points of articulation for social and spatial identities. Cinema preservation and restoration campaigns offer an exciting opportunity to explore these processes in operation. In its theoretical underpinnings this thesis extends the ongoing shift in cinema studies towards spatial thinking. In methodological terms, approaches developed in cultural geography are introduced to strengthen practices of rigour in a discipline that has a history marked by textual practices.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.