New Books About a Changing Niagara Falls
Niagara Artists Centre publishes a pair of books: Disappearing Motels and Lost Movie Theatres by author Joan Nicks.
A book launch with the author Joan Nicks in attendance to be held at the Niagara Falls History Museum on Saturday 17 December from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m
The Niagara Artists Centre is pleased to announce the publication of two books that chronicle seismic change in the culture of Niagara Falls by local popular culture authority and NAC member Joan Nicks.
The two books, while companions to one another and published simultaneously, explore their subjects independently. Disappearing Motels, Cultural Decline of a Post-war Travel Icon and Lost Movie Theatres, Movie Going in a Cross-border City both draw a detailed description of how these fixtures once dominated and defined the cultural landscape of Niagara Falls.
As Nicks explains, “Early local theatres were a barometer of social change and city-building, opening their doors for community events, not only the spectacle of moving pictures and seeing the falls on film for the first time.”
“The post-war rise of motel culture is a narrative of safe cars, improved highways and family vacations. Movie motels characterize the last stop of escape and dysfunction, evident in Niagara-set genre films,” Nicks says.
“NAC’s honoured to publish Joan’s books and bring her long hours of researching, interviewing, and writing to readers. Natasha Pedros and Jon Shaw also contributed remarkable design and the books are rich with archival photographs,” says NAC’s Minister of Energy, Minds, and Resources Stephen Remus.
Remus says, “NAC doesn’t publish books often and when we do they’re usually catalogues to accompany exhibits, but Joan’s books are something special, they show us what makes the culture of Niagara unique. NAC puts whatever energy we can muster into projects like this.”
The publications came together with support from many corners. Originally funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant, The City of Niagara Falls and Artista Print also sponsored the project so that NAC could bring both books to press.