Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2021 Susannah Broun. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. For all other uses, please contact the copyright holder.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department


This paper explores the complex desegregation process of movie theatres in the southern United States. Building off of historiography that investigates regulations of postwar teenage sexuality and recent scholarly work that acknowledges the link between sexuality and civil rights, I argue that movie theatres had a uniquely delayed desegregation process due to perceived sexual intrigue of the dark, private theatre space. Through analysis of drive-in and hardtop theatres, censorship of on-screen content, and youth involvement in desegregation, I contend that anxieties of interracial intimacy and unsupervised teenage sexuality produced this especially prolonged integration process.

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History Commons