How Did the Cinema Affect the Lives of Women and Children in 1930’s?

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How did the cinema affect the lives of women and children in 1930’s?

Labelled the ‘golden age of Hollywood’ the 1930’s was arguably a decade of turmoil. This led to many people attending the cinema to escape from reality. Among adults, women tended to go to the cinema more often than their husbands, and this finding was echoed by rowntree, who found that 75 per cent of cinema-goers in New York during the late 1930’s were women[1]. With large numbers of children attending these types of pictures, parents and adults began questioning the effect the movies had on their children. As one 1930s screenwriter, Dudley Nichols, put it: "Our exposure to the theatre is either helping us to resolve our own conflicts and the conflicts of society by
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It appears to be a family affair as the girl went to the cinema with her Nan and her Mother.

Horror movies were reborn in the 1930s. The advent of sound, as well as changing the whole nature of cinema forever, had a huge impact on the horror genre[8]. Horror films were seen as escapism from the great depression and at little cost. Films such as Dracula, the mummy and Frankenstein were successful horror classics. Although going to a movie theatre can be exciting, movies can create anxiety for children with loud noises and frightening and upsetting scenes. This is portrayed in source 2 and source 3 as a young girl could still remember the terror she experienced when going to the cinema 23 years later, therefore cinema had a negative effect on the life of children in the 1930’s. Furthermore, children idealised the Hollywood life and imitated the violence and crime that they saw at the cinema. Younger children may have trouble telling the difference between make-believe and reality[9].

Source 3 is an extract from a report commissioned by the London County Council (LCC) Education Committee, ‘school children and the cinema’. This source has the same message as source 2, in that both sources give the message that the cinema had a negative effect of women and children. “Children for a time imitate in their play what they have seen in the films, for example children under seven who have seen a fighting adventure

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