Line-up of speakers unveiled for Aberdeen City Libraries’ Stages and Screens of the Silver City virtual conference

Aberdeen City Libraries today (Friday 5 February) unveiled the speakers for next week’s one-day virtual conference, Screens and Stages in the Silver City.

 The digital conference, which is to be held on Saturday 13 February, will examine the architectural and building heritage of Aberdeen’s cinemas and theatres. It is a joint project between Aberdeen City Libraries and Aberdeen City Heritage Trust and is supported by Historic Environment Scotland.

Co-sponsored also by Aberdeen City & Shire Archives, Belmont Filmhouse, Bolinda, Code The City, SHMU and University of Aberdeen Special Collections., the conference seeks to enlighten Aberdeen’s past and explore how technologies can be used to better apprehend and conserve the city’s local heritage environment. 

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokeswoman, said: “We have a truly fantastic group of guest speakers to take us through the city’s iconic arts and entertainments venues, past and present and this virtual conference will allow people from fare and wide to take part and celebrate our cultural and architectural history.”

The full line-up of speakers comprises:

Dr Alistair Fair - Reader in Architectural History at Edinburgh University

Title: Theatre architecture in Aberdeen since 1900 in its Scottish context.

Alastair is Reader in Architectural History at Edinburgh University and the author of Modern Playhouses: an architectural history of Britain's new theatres, 1945-1985 and Play On: contemporary theatre architecture in Britain. His presentation will look at Aberdeen's post-1900 theatre architecture, beginning with His Majesty's (opened 1906), and will also consider the revival of the Tivoli Theatre, before setting these examples in a wider Scottish context.

Ronald Grant - Cinema Museum London

Title: Memories of Aberdeen Cinemas.

Ronald worked in various cinemas in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, all controlled by brothers Herbert or Richard Donald, two of the four Donald Brothers involved in cinema and theatre entertainment in the city. Ronald, who also oversaw the creation of the Cinema Museum in London, will share his memories of Aberdeen's cinemas and illustrate his presentation with many original photographs from his personal collection.

Dr Paul Maloney - Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast

Title: Theatre in context: using the archive to bring theatre stories alive.

Paul has written widely on Scottish popular theatre, including music hall, variety and pantomime. He is a Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast and the author of Scotland and the Music Hall and The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall and Cosmopolitan Entertainment Culture.Paul’s illustrated talk will show how imaginative use of archival sources and material culture can produce a colourful and accessible theatre history which relates entertainment to wider developments in contemporary society and helps bring audiences and performers of the past into focus. 

Janet McBain - former curator of the Scottish Screen Archive

Title: The Silver City on the Silver Screen: Aberdeen's local history reflected in film.

Janet has overseen the development of the Scottish Screen Archive into Scotland’s national collection reflecting Scottish life and cinematic art in the film century. She was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Film by BAFTA Scotland for her work and in 2016 was granted the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by Glasgow University.

Janet's illustrated presentation will consider the representation of the city and its citizens in films made by local exhibitors and shown on the city's cinema screens.

Dr Lyn Wilson - Digital Documentation Manager, Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

Title: Delivering digitally: Focused applications for the Historic Environment.

Lyn is a heritage scientist with over 20 years’ experience in digital documentation practice and conservation/archaeological science. She is responsible for 3D recording the properties and collections in the care of HES and her research interests focus on the intersection of heritage science and digital documentation in the historic environment, and the application of emerging technologies for conservation.

The presentation will outline the use of digital innovations at HES and give examples of focussed applications.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit virtual exhibition booths from partner organisations via the online conference platform:

Tickets for the conference cost £10 with booking closing on Monday 8 February. For more information and to book a place, please visit www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/lhc2021