The cinema is dead, the cinema has never been so popular; the cinema has disappeared as a public sphere, the cinema has never been so ubiquitous. Audience fi gures in the US and in many European countries have rallied from their historic lows in the 1980s and are holding steady, but in India and Asia they have sometimes more than doubled in the past twenty years. Neighborhood cinemas and art houses are closing, but cineplexes and multiplexes are being built in and around most major cities, often in combination with vast shopping malls and next to giant entertainment and leisure centers.