Online from: 1988
Subject Area: Accounting and Finance
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|Title:||“Going to the movies”: accounting and twentieth century cinema|
|Author(s):||Ingrid Jeacle, (The University of Edinburgh Business School, Edinburgh, UK)|
|Citation:||Ingrid Jeacle, (2009) "“Going to the movies”: accounting and twentieth century cinema", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 22 Iss: 5, pp.677 - 708|
|Keywords:||Accounting, Accounting history, Cinema, Management accounting, United Kingdom|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/09513570910966333 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – Since its emergence in the early twentieth century, cinema has acquired a cultural identity. As purveyor of light entertainment, the local movie palace sold escapism at a cheap price. It also acted as an important social apparatus that regulated everyday mannerisms and appearance. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the box office ledger of a UK picture house and to consider the role of the accounting document as a medium through which both local and broader social and historical norms can be reflected.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper primarily employs archival sources. It examines the box office ledger of the Edinburgh Playhouse cinema for the period 1929-1973. This ledger is held within the National Archive of Scotland. Secondary sources are also drawn upon to provide a social and historical context to the study.
Findings – The analysis of the box office ledger illustrates the potential value of an accounting document as a source of social history. Not only does this single ledger mirror the defining moments in British cinema history, it also helps inform the conception of what constitutes accounting, shapes the perception of contemporary strategic management accounting rhetoric, and further an appreciation of the relationship between accounting and everyday life.
Originality/value – The entertainment industry has been largely ignored within accounting scholarship. Such neglect is lamentable given both the scale of the industry and its impact on contemporary culture. This paper is an attempt to redress this neglect by examining one component of the entertainment business, cinema, through the medium of an accounting document.
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