Reliving the memories of cinema


Arts & Culture


Calvium have enjoyed working with Dr. Charlotte Crofts on the Curzon Project. Charlotte is a senior lecturer in Film Studies and Video Production, and an associate of the Digital Cultures Research Center.

Charlotte was interested in discovering how apps can enhance visitors’ experience of the cinema in very different ways. The cinema that is central to the project is the Curzon Cinema in Clevedon. The original building opened in 1912, and films have been presented on the site ever since. The Curzon is now a community cinema, operated as a registered charity. Charlotte wanted to enhance the visit to the theatre and re-create its past through recordings of memories of people involved in its history. She engaged Calvium to work as consultants and technical advisors so that she could experiment with a combination of GPS triggered memories for the outside of the cinema and QR triggered memories for the inside space. Charlotte created the app in an iterative fashion testing different experiences with volunteer audiences so that she got valuable feedback on what worked and what didn’t and how the overall experience might be enhanced through background story, help and interface design. One of the more unusual and exciting aspects of the app was the inclusion of the “Projection Hero”. A working model cinema was created and by scanning a QR code visitors can try their hand at being a projectionist by using the app interface.

Working with Jo Reid from Calvium has been brilliant. I’m new to app developing and experience design, with a background as a filmmaker, but Jo was able to train me to use App Furnace, which is easy and simple to use if you just want to build screens and link to content. I even began to get to grips with some of the Javascript functions. The most important thing I learnt from working with Calvium was the iterative design process, not being afraid to test stuff quite early on in the development to see if it works.

Dr Charlotte Crofts, University of the West of England

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