Bringing to Light: Reflections upon the Cinematic Uncanny

Allister Mactaggart


The construction of purpose-built cinemas in the early part of the twentieth century was aimed at providing a safe and secure base for the new medium of film, and to gentrify this unruly and ‘magic’ medium, particularly with the development of the feature film which required a more established ‘home’ for it to be successfully exhibited. The motivation behind these new movie ‘palaces’ was therefore both economic and class-based in an attempt to remove film from its lower-class origins. Yet the intended domestication of the medium exhibited within the confines of the new buildings was never secure; in fact, it will be argued that such attempts were ill-fated from the outset, and that the ontological strangeness of the filmic medium was instead amplified within the new surroundings.


cinema interiors, the uncanny, extimacy, anxiety

Full Text:



All content © Free Associations.