The London Project

The London Project is a major study of the film business in London, 1894-1914, organised by the AHRB Centre for British Film and Television Studies. The project ran 2004-05, but written outputs are in preparation and will be seen later this year; and there the main project output, a searchable database, which is available online. This documents nearly 1,000 cinemas and other film venues, and just as many film businesses located in London before the First World War. The researchers on the project were Simon Brown and Luke McKernan, with Professor Ian Christie of Birkbeck, University of London, overseeing the work.

The database is designed to attract not only early film specialists, but a general audience interested in London history. To this end there is a map of the boroughs of London, from which users can call up database results for the part of the city they are interested in. Because the database entries can be found through Google searches, it has generated quite a public response. The current web address is http://londonfilm.bbk.ac.uk, though there is talk of this changing soon. As the person responsible for the cinema records, I have to say that Simon’s film business records are better.

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