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The Optical VacuumSpectatorship and Modernized American Theater Architecture$
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Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190689353

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190689353.001.0001

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(p.183) Coda
The Optical Vacuum

Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece

Oxford University Press

This coda briefly describes the end of Schlanger’s life and the loss of his personal archives. It then points to later examples of neutralization’s impact in screen technologies such as IMAX of the early 1980s. Finally, it argues that neutralization helped shape not only the movie theater at mid-century, but an entire dimension of twenty-first-century spectatorship that insists on a disappearing space to privilege a screen. The coda gestures toward the abiding relevance of Schlanger’s theatrical ideals and the aporia of the optical vacuum they present: at once an every space, everywhere, and a no space, nowhere. To make a house for this still confusing and new thing of the cinema meant also imagining its eventual demise.

Keywords:   Ben Schlanger, movie theater, film, architecture, exhibition, spectatorship, neutral, cinephilia, immersion, IMAX

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