Context-Aware Heritage: Curzon Cinema

The Context Aware Heritage project has culminated in the Curzon Memories App, which was inspired when Charlotte filmed at the Curzon Community Cinema, Clevedon whilst making adocumentary about the impact of digital technologies on the feature film industry[1]. This inspiration evolved into research concerning how emerging screen technologies, specifically locative media, can be used as a lens through which to understand and make accessible the old cinematic apparatus. To this end Charlotte took research leave in Sept 2010 in order to scope and design a small-scale pilot testing the creative application of locative media in a heritage context. This pilot locative media project was based at the Curzon, an historic cinema celebrating its centenary in April 2012, which is also home of Curzon Collection, an archive of cinema equipment and paraphernalia.

Visitors explore the cinema with a mobile handset that uses their GPS position and QR codes to trigger interactive site-specific media content to enhance knowledge and understanding of the exhibits, building on the Curzon’s current Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

The project also includes the Projection Hero installation, made with Tarim from Media Playgrounds, which is a miniature cinema which you can manipulate with your smartphone.  The installation situates the users as a projectionist and explores the dying art of cinema projection in the digital age. The focus of the project lies in the innovative application of mobile technologies, designing positive user experiences and contributing to DCRC’s research into the aesthetics of locative media.

The Curzon Memories App was developed with Jo Reid from Calvium using the AppFurnace app development software, and has now been published on iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Please visit the Curzon Project blog for more information and to follow the project’s development.


1. The documentary was also shot at Aardman, Panavision, Technicolor and Kodak and funded by a HEFCE Promising Research Fellowship whilst at London South Bank University