As anyone who follows NUWT archive on Twitter will know I’ve been having an entertaining few days cataloguing material from the late 1920s through to the 1950s relating to cinemas, filsm in educational use and film classification. It includes numerous reports published on the impact of cinema on children and the use of films in education but some of my favourite items were most definitely the opinions of adults and children on what films were ‘suitable’ for children to see.
The first item is part of a report written by an NUWT member who sneaked in to children’s cinema screening’s and wrote reports on the films being shown and the children’s reactions to them. I say sneaked in as this was often what they had to do to write the reports as many cinema’s did not like adults attending the children’s shows – especially if they were there to write reports. The correspondence also includes a circular issued by the NUWT offering advice on how to get in to children’s screenings in order to write the reports – the final piece of advice being, if all else fails find a child to take in with you! I love that she writes ‘Totally unsuitable for children’ on one line then ‘much enjoyed by the children’ on the next – both in reference to the same film, a film about boxing.
The next two photos show one of many leaflets produced by Bernstein Theatres advertising their innovation of special Children’s Cinema Screenings. The films were a mix of entertainment and educational, animation and live action, and the lists of films chosen were sent to various organisations for consultation and advice on ‘suitability’.
Following that you can see the opinions of primary school age children on the types of films they like and don’t like to see at the cinema. Micky Mouse seems to be a firm favourite!