A Scottish research paper on movie theatres is coming to Muskoka. A student from the University of Edinburgh is in Ontario looking at the cinema experience in rural communities.

Richard Tanner says his research paper deciphers how location, finance and community affect the movie-going experience. He’s also studying community initiatives in the area, and how cinema can build a community.

Tanner says there is an overgeneralization of rural audiences, that they are less engaged in movies, and says he’s not buying that argument.


Tanner says it can sometimes take a while for the latest movie to hit the screen in small towns, and says the ones that do come are generally family-oriented or kids’ films that will bring in some cash. He says a change in how films are projected has left a number of small movie theatres struggling to stay in business.


Tanner’s research project focuses on Muskoka, Parry Sound and Kawartha. He says you can help with the project by taking an online survey about your movie-going experience in the area. The survey results will then be complied by Tanner, and he will create a dissertation based on the findings. He says this is the final project to get a Master’s of Science in Film Exhibition and Curation. He says that means looking at how and where films are presented, like at festivals or museums.

Tanner will also be in Muskoka from July 17th to the 19th, and will speak with community members in-person. To set up a time, email Tanner at rca.tanner@gmail.com.