Consumed with the past: Nostalgia, memory, and ghostly encounters at the picture palace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


A preserved movie theater in Tampa, Florida, provides an interpretive site for investigating and untangling the meanings of popular memory, nostal gia, and ghosts. By making sense of interviews with theater employees and patrons, chasing a ghost, and investigating personal experiences in the the ater, the author discovers that the past that is located within the auditorium is the collision of both sanctioned, fixed histories and individual, wander ing meanings. Although nostalgia may help to guide consumption of the past, the storied particulars of individuals also help create the meanings of history. Ghost stories become a metaphor for the intersection between these fixed and wandering meanings. The author argues that this metaphor helps us make sense of the many contradictions that we confront as we consume the past.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-391
Number of pages23
JournalCultural Studies - Critical Methodologies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies

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