Bringing together data regarding the films shown in Florence from June 10 1940 to August 1944, the author aims to provide a picture of cinematographic activity in a big city during the Second World War. Taking into consideration both commercial cinemas and fascist leisure associations, the author provides statistics on the movie theaters active at that time and on the films shown - classified according to their country of origin - as well as a list of the most frequently seen films, according to the number of days they were shown. Figures regarding the frequency of showings, taken as indicators of popularity and visibility, make it possible to evaluate audience preferences, showing that cinema goers continued to favour American cinema and to reject German films, despite propaganda campaigns advocating the opposite. The data also provides insight into the popularity of Italian cinema, revealing that the audience responded positively to the domestic film industry, which offered a variety of genres and not only «telefoni bianchi» films. As regards Italian propaganda films, the audience’s initial interest changed over the course of the war, dropping altogether as the fortunes of war deteriorated.
Keywords: Film propaganda, Florence and the Second World War, florentine movie theaters, nazi and fascist cinema