Photo Montage
Center Cinema sign and poster Electric Shadows movie posters

CMAG Collection Series:
In the Can

15 October – 1 February 2009
Gallery 2/3

Curatorial Statement

In the Can is the latest in a series of exhibitions which showcases Canberra Museum and Gallery’s permanent collection and celebrates the 10th anniversary of its establishment in 1998. 2008 is also significant as it marks the centenary of the site selection for the
National Capital.

The title of this exhibition refers to just two of the many meanings of the phrase In the Can. One is movie jargon indicating that the making
of a movie is complete, the other is a local idiom which refers to being in Canberra. One of CMAG’s guiding tenets is the use of personal stories and experiences of artists/makers, individuals and communities to inform our social history and visual arts collections.

Three significant Canberra cinemas have closed since CMAG opened: The Center Cinema (1966-2003), The Boulevard Twin (1973-2006) and the Civic Theatre (1936-2007). CMAG was on hand to acquire artefacts and stories that preserve, reflect and document the important place that ‘going to the pictures’ occupies in the social life of our community.

In the Can highlights the parallel between significant milestones in the urban history of Canberra and the story of four cinemas; a story told by the people behind the projector, behind the usherette’s torch and behind the
architect’s pen.

Dale Middleby, Curator

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