It has been a recurring complaint both within, and against, Film Studies that it has largely ignored the activities of audiences. This book aims to address this absence (as compared to Television Studies) and to explain its cause. The authors argue that there is a social context in which the consumption of film can be understood or studied historically and aims to demonstrate that a concentration on the place of film consumption within the changing cultural politics of the city can offer a compelling and productive focus of analysis. As a result, the book examines not only the different meanings of different sites of film exhibition and distribution (city centre cinemas, local cinemas, art house cinemas, multiplexes, terrestrial television transmission, video rental and retail, and satellite/cable), but also the meanings of the activities of film consumption associated with these sites. Through unique use of archival materials and ethnographic studies of the audience, the book therefore examines the meanings of film consumption from the earliest film showings up to the present day.