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Local History

Task 3

Local Study Using Maps

  1. Decide on the area to be covered: it needs to have several cinemas, so could be part of a city, a whole town or a larger rural area.
  2. Make a sketch-map of the area.
  3. Plot on it all the cinemas that were in existence in 1945. This could involve quite a lot of investigation, starting with fieldwork and local knowledge. Then use old newspapers to fill in the map further. Oral testimony may give more information.
  4. Groups could fill out information files, using IT, on each site. Information could include: name, date built, capacity, owners, any changes, special features, such as live entertainment, present use or condition, etc.
  5. Alternatively, much more impressionistic and personal data could be recorded, using oral evidence alongside newspaper reports and anything else. Wall displays would be the best method of completing this kind of enquiry.
  6. Groups should think about the location. Was the cinema likely to be successful there? Were there lots of people living nearby? Was it on good public transport routes?
  7. Use the same sketch map base to record cinemas open today. Compare the two maps. Why have some closed and not others? Are there any new cinemas not recorded on your first sketch map?
  8. Record the sites of video shops in the area, using a different symbol. What patterns can you see? How do they relate to:
    - cinemas that are operating now?
    - where people live?
    - where old cinemas were?
  9. Where on your map would you build a new multiplex cinema? Think about:
    - how people get to the cinema
    - whether they drive or use public transport
    - which position is most accessible to the greatest possible number of people
    - how you can join up with other places where lots of people go already, such as a shopping centre or leisure centre
    - Is it better to put it in the city centre, where cinemas used to be or on a new site on the edge of town, near to suburbs and main roads?