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Title: Cinema architecture in Malta
Authors: Bajada Young, Naomi
Keywords: Theater architecture -- Malta
Motion picture theaters -- Malta
Theater architecture -- Malta -- History -- 20th century
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Bajada Young, N. (2018). Cinema architecture in Malta (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: Despite Malta’s wealth of architectural heritage, a large part of it is constantly being savaged, mutilated, and carelessly left to deteriorate. This unfortunately includes the architectural cinematic heritage; and buildings that once enjoyed a time of glory were neglected over time, without even being considered for restoration due to new developmental plans being put first. Sensitivity to twentieth-century architecture and cultural memory lacks severely in Malta, since there is the common inclination to think that the architecture of this period is of lesser quality or importance when compared to architecture built between the sixteenth and eighteenth century. Architecture catering for the motion picture played a significant role in Malta’s social and cultural history, and buildings dating to the 1930s are particularly reminiscent of an architectural idiom of the past, which is no longer appreciated and thus easily, and simply, forgotten. After World War II, numerous cinemas and theatres sustained bombings. These include the Gaiety in Sliema, the International, the Regent, and the Opera House in Valletta. There was still a demand for cinemas after the suffering of the War, which is a reflection of the state of the society. Many efforts were made in order to save and rebuild cinema theatres such as the Rialto and Orpheum, along with other notable ones but somehow, many of these plans did not materialise due to modern development which is taking precedence at an alarming rate. This dissertation aims to document buildings of the motion picture starting from the origins of cinema abroad and in Malta all through the rise and popularity of cinemagoing, up until the introduction of the discotheques, television and other technologies, which eventually brought about the cinema’s decline. This information was sourced from readings, newspapers, architectural drawings, spoken conversation and photographs. The losses of the cinema theatres leave a gap in Malta’s cultural heritage and memory; cinema played a major role in the cultural and social development of the country throughout history. This dissertation is divided into four chapters, starting from the history of cinema towards its decline. The first chapter consists of a historic overview on the origins of cinema and the introduction of cinema in Malta. The second chapter discusses the early theatres which were later adapted into cinema screens, as well as the major and popular cinemas which were situated in Valletta and Sliema. The third chapter presents the smaller cinemas found in localities outside Valletta and Sliema, and mentions cinemas in Gozo and those built for Army and Naval Forces. The fourth chapter discusses the social aspect of cinema and also possible future developments of cinema. At the present time our cultural heritage is at stake, and the purpose of this research is essentially an effort to document and analyse the historical context in which cinemas were built, and to look at cinema in a future setting.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HIST.OF ART
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2018
Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2018

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