About

This is a blog about London’s early cinema history, written by me, Chris O’Rourke.

It is also a temporary storage place for ideas and material to do with my work at UCL, where I am a Research Associate.

If you are interested in my research, or any of the things I write about, you can get in touch with me here on the blog, via Twitter (@ChrisORourke1) or email me at: christopher.o’rourke@ucl.ac.uk.

West End Cinema, ca 1917
The West End Cinema Theatre, Coventry Street, ca 1917.

7 thoughts on “About”

  1. Dear Mr. Chris O’rourke,

    My name is Hana Ishikawa and currently I’m studying Film production in University of Westminster. I happened to read your blog about film (https://londonfilmland.wordpress.com) and become very interested about the topic. Currently I am doing a project to recreate a space of London Film Company in 1940s, I am wondering if you know about which area was famous for london casting companies at the time?
    Obviously I have looked around oxford street, etc however I could not find much resources about the information.
    Thanks

    Regards,
    Hana Ishikawa

    1. Hi Hana. I’m glad you have been enjoying the blog. Your research sounds really interesting. As far as I know, the biggest cluster of film casting agencies was on Shaftesbury Avenue or nearby – certainly this was the case in the 1920s. If you email me at christopher.o’rourke@ucl.ac.uk I can suggest some places you might look for more information.

  2. Hi!

    In a blog in which Luke McKernan shares his impressions from the recent HoMER conference in Glasgow, he mentions your presentation about “unpublished diaries of man-about-town Archibald Walker in 1915”. I have come across diaries (or more scrap-books, actually) written by a clerk, Allan Holmström, at a manufacturing industry in the town of Södertälje between 1877 (when AH was 6 years old) and 1962. AH loved the Theatre, came to appreciate Cinema and kept record of every visit. He was an avid cinemagoer. My intention is to analyze the years 1912-1922, recording the process of cinemas institutionalisation through AHs documentation – how going to the Movies became an integrated part of AHs everyday Life (ie, “mediatization”).

    I am a lecturer in Film Studies at Orebro Uni, Sweden, my emailadress is asa.jernudd@oru.se and I’d like to ask if you have published on the topic of early cinema going and diaries and if I could read the paper you presented at Glasgow?

    Kind regards,
    Åsa Jernudd

  3. Hi Christopher
    I just saw your very good website. You ask if anyone knows a location on Great Portland Street for a preWW1 studios.
    This is a possibility only, as I have written a self published book on an ancestor who was connected to a James Windus. I have added Windus research to my book.
    James Windus 1818 – 1913, was an interesting character, he published sheet music, was a piano maker, and photographer. In the 1850s he had a house on Great Portland Street in 1859 he moved further along the street to 120 Gt Portland St , he was subsequently there for many years. I wonder if this was the location?
    Connected to my research, I am also looking for film of the Tottenham Ct Rd / Fitzrovia area pre WW1.
    Regards
    Andrew Wyatt

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