To plot or not to plot

It was another rough week for maintaining goals, just not enough time in the day to get everything done at this point while working.  No excuse, well URT was giving me some problems on Thursday so I abandoned creating every point like I planned and continued researching.  Hopefully the bug that did not allow me to update a point with new information is fixed.  However, I now have amassed way more information than necessary on a handful of theaters and have a lot of work to do for a number of others.  I think at this point the best thing is just to settle with creating points that may be unfinished in my mind, clearly this is my main obstacle, and fill in the blank spaces later on as time allows for it.  I will have the weekend completely open and this would probably help relieve some of the stress that has been occurring over this predicament.

My other main concern is that I will not cover as much physical ground on the map area as I had originally hoped.  When I originally said the movie theaters of Union Square I was hoping to cover a mile in each direction of the actual square.  Sadly my focus has been very one-sided, or East Village sided if you will.  This is partly because I wanted to start searching from my apartment and moving outwards from there, and partly my fascination with collecting data on buildings that I walk by everyday.  But I will address this in the introduction, which I am taking a break from right now to put up a post on my progress thus far.

Still hoping to make it to the library to check on a few magazine archives I could not locate online, not sure if new information will be available here but I am looking to expand my research platforms.  Plus, the library is always an easier place to work that hunched over a desk in a noisy apartment.

I also wanted to bring up one concern I was having with my introduction regarding what classifies a movie theater.  A lot of the abandoned or demolished theaters I am looking at started as performance theaters or penny arcades but adapted to movie theaters as the demand for them grew in the 1920’s and 30’s.  Some reverted back to performance theaters again as the demand was no longer there in some areas, well you get where I am going.  What is considered a movie theater today is not the same as what it may have been in the early 1900’s, but I am trying to organize the differences and shed some clarity to my vision for this project.  So far I have; the space was designed or adapted to be an actual theater rather than bringing in a projector and setting up seats around a screen in a room, charging for admission, and showing a film or films seven days a week.  This all applies to theaters that were movie theaters at a time but switched to another performance type as long as they abided by the requirements listed for some point in time.  Any other thoughts on how to expand this would be greatly appreciated.

In my defense I was reading Franz Fanon recently and found a quote that may help support why things have been so slow to appear on URT.

“O my body, make of me always a man who questions!”

One comment

  1. It’s *good* that you’re questioning! It’s much better to think critically about what defines the central topic of your research — the primary entity of your map — than blindly plot points without considering what, precisely, you’re mapping. The fact that the concepts central to our research sometimes *evolve* over time presents challenges when we have to translate that variability to a database.

    There are a couple ways you could handle this: You could decide to base a theater’s start/end dates on when it functioned specifically as a movie theater, and you could indicate its performance theater previous/after-lives in a textual caption or argument. Or you could adopt a more encompassing definition of a theater, and again indicate in a caption or argument somewhere when precisely it functioned solely as a movie theater. Or you could construct different entities: performance theater and movie theater, and indicate when each kind of entity existed at each particular site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *