Cinema Heritage in Europe: Preserving and Sharing Culture by Engaging with Film Exhibition and Audiences
Pierluigi Ercole, Daniela Treveri Gennari, Silvia Dibeltulo, and Lies Van de Vijver Kesting
Abstract: The safeguarding, preservation and valorisation of the cultural heritage has increasingly become associated with the process of making cultural heritage assets available online (“Towards an Integrated Approach”). The process of digitisation of cultural assets, while playing a key role in sharing knowledge, still represents a challenge for European and global heritage. While the focus on audiovisual cultural heritage has been characterised by a limited engagement with film and television as cultural products, cinema audiences and their experiences have been virtually neglected. Looking at the cinemagoing experience shifts the focus from the film, as cultural/commercial product, to the audiences, as citizens. The articles included in this special issue of Alphaville demonstrate that research on cinema audiences has the potential to broaden the scope of cultural heritage by including cinema heritage as a new cultural category, which relates to cinemas and the experience of cinemagoing as the social counterpart of film and filmmaking: in this sense the consumption of cultural heritage becomes a cultural phenomenon in its own right.