Hiding in Plain Sight: A case study of a cinema history project in Leeds, UK

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Ager, Laura
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Film and Screen Media, University College Cork
Research Projects
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Hiding in Plain Sight is an illustrated history of the former and present cinemas in the city of Leeds and an interactive website that engages Leeds residents in a participatory reminiscence project about cinemas and cinema-going. Launched in the summer of 2020, it is the most recent output of an ongoing cinema history research project at the Hyde Park Picture House, a much-loved 106 year-old Grade 2 listed independent cinema. The Hiding in Plain Sight project was one of a series of activities hosted by the organisation in line with their objective to engage as many people as possible with the cinema’s valuable heritage. The author of this paper, Dr Laura Ager, was employed by the Hyde Park Picture House as their Creative Engagement Officer between 2019 and 2020 and in this role she developed project’s framework and its research strategy. In this article she outlines the project’s origins and stages of development and considers how the methods used in the research phase have interacted with the design and production of the Hiding in Plain Sight website to give unexpected insights. She also reflects on some essential stages of project re-negotiation during the extraordinary and turbulent summer of 2020.
Cinema heritage , Leeds , Audience engagement
Ager, L. (2021) 'Hiding in Plain Sight: A case study of a cinema history project in Leeds, UK', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 21, pp. 131-143. https://doi.org/10.33178/alpha.21.08