Cinema Parisien 3D: 3D Visualisation as a Tool for the History of Cinemagoing
Julia Noordegraaff, Loes Opgenhaffen and Norbert Bakker
Abstract: In this article we evaluate the relevance of 3D visualisation as a research tool for the history of cinemagoing. How does the process of building a 3D model of cinema theatres relate to what we already know about this history? In which ways does the modelling process allow for the synthesis of different types of archived cinema heritage assets? To what extent does this presentation of “content in context” helps us to better understand the history of film consumption? We will address these questions via a discussion of a specific case study, our visualisation of Jean Desmet’s Amsterdam Cinema Parisien theatre, one of the first permanent cinemas of the Dutch capital. First, we reflect on 3D as a research tool, outlining its technology and methodological principles and its usefulness for research into the historiography of moviegoing. Then we describe our 3D visualisation of Cinema Parisien, discussing the process of researching and building the model. Finally, we evaluate the result against the existing knowledge about the history of cinemagoing in Amsterdam and of this cinema theatre in particular, and answer the question to what extent 3D as a research tool can aid our understanding of the history of cinema consumption.