Explanations for the restrained development of the dutch cinema market in the 1930s

John Sedgwick, Clara Pafort-Overduin, Jaap Boter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Cinemagoing in the Netherlands during the 1930s appears to have been much less intense than in the English-speaking world. To support this assertion we examine film attendance and diffusion in the Dutch market by recourse to a new large dataset, and contrast it with observations drawn from recent research on the Anglo-Saxon countries (United States, United Kingdom, and Australia). In setting down the economic principles behind the organisation of the film industry that best describe the Anglo-Saxon model, we show how the Dutch experience differed in scale, but not in type. To investigate the reasons for this, we examine the idea that film consumption in the Netherlands was constrained through the operation of informal institutional pressures. In particular, we investigate the influence that the vertical stratification of Dutch society into distinct religious and ideological strands may have had on the filmgoing appetites of the Dutch people. A further investigation looks at the combination of exhibitors and distributors into a single industry cartel and its impact upon prices and cinema building. The paper concludes that a complex mixture of cultural, economic, institutional, and social factors were at play, causing the Dutch people to be an outlier as far as film provision and consumption was concerned.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)634-671
    Number of pages38
    JournalEnterprise and Society
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


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