The project goal is to analyze, through oral-history research, the way three historical turning points (1939, 1945, and 1948) affected the film industry, in particular the operation of Brno’s cinemas. We deal with three major questions: a) local-level distribution system and film screening practices, b) transformation of cinema employees' professional identity, and c) changes in the audience response and behavior.

These topics are dealt with in semi-structured interviews with several dozens of employees of Brno’s cinemas. We examine the transformation of concessionaire structure – from organizations like Sokol, Orel and catholic associations in 1930's, over the practice of trustees during WW2, till the centralization of cinemas after the end of war. How did the social and demographic composition of cinema employees change? How did they change their professional identity, measure of loyalty and their relations with the employer? In the third part of our research, we also analyze the audience response and behavior. In addition, we supplement the method of exploration of period archive documents, openly published magazines and newspapers by a new unique approach: a collection of “insider” eyewitnesses' memories. The memories are not to be self-reflecting memories, but they should help us view the visitors from “objective” point of view. Our oral-history research is not considered a substitute for archival research; in contrast, it will try to give answers to questions which the archival research cannot provide.
 
up