2015 年 87 巻 p. 137-155
In traditional research on film reception, the cinema experience has been defined by the time period and the space in which audiences experienced the film. However, audiences also experience the cinema before and after going to the movies through the media, such as through film magazines, trailers, posters, and so on. Understanding how the film is received by audiences, researchers should consider other forms of media surrounding the film-going experience. From this perspective, this paper focuses on brochures that were published by almost all of the prewar movie theaters and analyzes the reading practices of audiences. We first compare exhibition practices by movie theaters with those by opera theaters, and argue that movie theater brochures were formed out of Western modern theater publications. The results show that prewar film exhibitors struggled to contextualize the movie into traditional theater exhibitions because cinemas were considered to be of a lower social standing than prior theater exhibitions. After exploring the origin of brochures, we focus on the contributors' column in which audiences expressed their opinions and differentiated themselves from each other to elevate their status. These contributions were regarded as a kind of literature and audiences usually read them before and after watching films. Some audiences were attracted to brochures and collected them. In particular, brochures published by movie theaters in Tokyo gained popularity. Because of the distribution system, a considerable number of films were only shown around the Kanto region. Instead of receiving original text, rural audiences experienced films vicariously through reading the brochures. Through the analyses above, we conclude that the way of watching films during 1920s in Japan was related not only to the film's text but also other practices such as writing and reading and audiences experienced something beyond the screen.