Grechkin Vitaliy Nikolaevich, Postgraduate student, St. Petersburg State University (7–9, Universitetskaya embankment, Saint-Petersburg, Russia), E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background. The article discusses the activities of the city film distribution system in Leningrad during the thaw years. The purpose of this work is to compare the Leningrad and Moscow film screening systems, identify specific features inherent in the Leningrad film distribution, study the development of the city cinema network, as well as the problems faced by film distributors, and ways to solve them.
Materials and methods. Thanks to the stenographic reports on the meetings that were attended by the employees responsible for the operation of the city’s cinemas, it is possible to form a comprehensive picture of the problems faced by this structure. The research is based on the materials of the Central State Archive of Literature and Art of St. Petersburg (TsGALI St. Petersburg) and the periodical press of those years. With the help of the comparative-historical method it is possible to compare the Moscow and Leningrad film distribution systems; the statistical method makes it possible to analyze the effectiveness of government spending on the development of cinema in the USSR.
Results. The state of the film distribution system in the USSR during the Khrushchev thaw was studied. The features of the repertoire policy, the organization of work to attract viewers and the planned revenues from the screening of films in Moscow and Leningrad are considered. Specific features inherent in Leningrad film distribution, related to its provincial position, historical features of the development of the cinema network, and the tastes of the public, are noted.
Conclusions. Based on the sources used, it can be concluded that the “responsible” people were aware of the existence of the film distribution system and tried to eliminate them, but often faced bureaucratic obstacles of the planned economy. The main problems undoubtedly included: the unavailability of tickets for evening cinema performance to the general public; the lack of comfort in the city’s cinemas; and the limited ability of the public to view new domestic and above all western films. The author concludes that these problems often arose because of the state’s ideological policy in the field of film production and distribution, as well as the lack of funding and qualified staff.
history of everyday life, leisure, film distribution in the USSR, cinema, Leningrad
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