What will go away next?
October 24, 2019 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Disney Is Quietly Placing Classic Fox Movies Into Its Vault, and That’s Worrying
More than one exhibition professional contacted for this article speculated that Disney’s overall goal is to claim as many screens at a theater as possible for its newer titles, even if some of them are packing the house but others are selling just a handful of tickets per show. A former theater manager for a major chain, who asked not to be identified in this piece, says, “It seems short-sighted, you know? But they do it, I think, just to keep a Sony title out, to keep a Universal title out.” The Fox freeze out, he speculates, may be an extension of that tactic: Disney considers any screen that’s taken up by an older movie, even one that’s owned by Disney, to be a screen that could be showing the new Marvel or Star Wars title instead. Or showing Orangutans 4 to an audience of three.

posted by Atom Eyes (61 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Boycotting Disney gets harder and harder over time, eventually watching any media will be supporting Disney. Fuck Disney from the bottom of my heart, a wicked corporation hell bent on acquiring perpetual rights to all human ideas and art.
posted by GoblinHoney at 10:27 AM on October 24, 2019 [17 favorites]


We literally broke up the studios because it was recognized that one entity being producer + distributor + exhibitor of movies was bad for the public. Somehow, though, Disney recreating the studio system in digital form is A-OK, because we've basically given up on the idea of anti-trust legislation ever having teeth again.
posted by tocts at 10:31 AM on October 24, 2019 [65 favorites]


As someone involved in independent cinema, my understanding is that it works like this:

If you show first-run films released by Disney, you can't show Disney/Fox repertory titles.
If you're a repertory theater that shows Disney and Fox rep selections, you can't show first-run titles on release.

This is a long-standing policy by Disney, but now includes Fox features.

While I'm not sure that entirely makes sense, it doesn't totally prevent release of the old titles. My personal feeling is that we should have more repertory cinemas - IMO, we should be able to see more film on 35mm film, or more classic features in cinema, which is not the case in most communities. If this helps spur repertory cinemas in major markets, maybe I'm OK with that.
posted by eschatfische at 10:39 AM on October 24, 2019 [11 favorites]


Just another case of how intellectual property laws are rigged to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

Income inequality didn't happen by accident. The laws are designed that way.
posted by JackFlash at 10:39 AM on October 24, 2019 [26 favorites]


Speaking of steady earners: the steadiest of them all, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, appears to be the one title Disney isn’t cracking down on — perhaps because, according to Rachel Fox, “maybe Disney knows that if they pull Rocky Horror too, there’ll be a full-scale audience revolt.”

Damn right there would be! That would be a protest to see.

Anyways, seems like this problem could be fixed two ways: reasonable copyright laws, OR anti-trust regulators breaking up Disney. Or both! Both would be good.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:41 AM on October 24, 2019 [17 favorites]


Man, that kinda sucks.  In my eyes Disney are making a mistake, one that extends beyond how it's screwing over smaller theatres.  For better or worse, strict control and limited releases of their titles is sort of their brand.   If you want that copy of Fantasia/Mary Poppins/20,000 Leagues, well you'd best buy it now/go see it in re-release, because it'll vanish again for another 10 years.  That was their shtick, you associated it solely with them, and I don't think a new age of streaming video changes that.  Bringing old Fox films under that policy just dilutes that brand.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 10:42 AM on October 24, 2019


Boycotting Disney gets harder and harder over time, eventually watching any media will be supporting Disney.

Yup. From the article:
Last year, Disney claimed 40 percent of North American ticket sales (a number expected to jump to 50 percent once the Fox merger begins to deliver).
When half of ticket sales go to the Mouse House, that's (approximately) half of the new movies you're not going to see.

Disney's DeBeers-like strategy of strict distribution control made sense in the era before digital distribution, but now it seems like their strategy will just push more people to piracy, and more creative channels for piracy (like the consumer-packaged Kodi Boxes, Dragon and TickBox, who lost lawsuits brought against them by "all of Hollywood," and claimed to be setting up their own legitimate streaming services).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:43 AM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


Ladies and gentlemen, the invisible hand of the free market.
posted by acb at 10:58 AM on October 24, 2019 [9 favorites]


This is why people turn to piracy.
posted by freakazoid at 11:13 AM on October 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


This is why people turn to piracy.

Piracy doesn't help me see an old movie in a theater though.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:20 AM on October 24, 2019 [20 favorites]


Copyright fee going up each year by geometric progression please.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 11:27 AM on October 24, 2019 [5 favorites]


Also, this makes no sense to me:

Disney considers any screen that’s taken up by an older movie, even one that’s owned by Disney, to be a screen that could be showing the new Marvel or Star Wars title instead.

Wouldn't a rational theater owner displace low-grossing movies for repertory showings, rather than bread-and-butter blockbusters? It seems like screening older movies would crowd out the marginal stuff if it crowds out anything, and Disney isn't in the habit of making marginal films.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:28 AM on October 24, 2019


Disney isn't rational, Holy Zarquon. It's a power and status move, they have to normalize it.

They also mandate their hugest releases get like a very large X weeks in all the biggest/most premium theaters, I'm pretty sure. Like the last Star Wars had to be shown in all of those guaranteed for 3+ weeks (during the holidays) or they couldn't be shown at all.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:30 AM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


Piracy doesn't help me see an old movie in a theater though

It's far from perfect, I agree.

But I'll be damned if I'm going to let a 96 year old mouse tell when I can or cannot watch Beneath the Planet of the Apes again.
posted by freakazoid at 11:31 AM on October 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


An added thing, re: rationality: for them to make the rational choice, Disney would have to admit up front that their latest shitty c-tier movie wasn't going to make as much money as something released 30 years ago. They'd rather stack things so that theaters have to show their latest than do that.
posted by tocts at 11:41 AM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


We literally broke up the studios because it was recognized that one entity being producer + distributor + exhibitor of movies was bad for the public.

This was done not so much for the public, but for small competitors who were locked out of existence because they weren't one of the big boys. Not because you have a right to see Song of the South of the big screen. Which you don't.

There is no right for the public to have access to your property if you choose to not make it accessable. This holds true for Disney even if you decide to break them up. Whatever mini-Disney holding the rights to the movies can still keep them in the vault if they choose.
posted by 2N2222 at 11:43 AM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


Piracy doesn't help me see an old movie in a theater though.

This little bugger will.
posted by avalonian at 11:44 AM on October 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


Piracy doesn't help me see an old movie in a theater though.

Shall we fight for the rights to "A Night at the Opera" now?
posted by DanSachs at 11:55 AM on October 24, 2019 [13 favorites]


If you show first-run films released by Disney, you can't show Disney/Fox repertory titles.
If you're a repertory theater that shows Disney and Fox rep selections, you can't show first-run titles on release.


So what theaters need to do is take a page from the movie industry book, and incorporate each screen in their theater as a separate business entity.
posted by fings at 12:07 PM on October 24, 2019 [16 favorites]


Piracy doesn't help me see an old movie in a theater though.

Pirate cinemas sound like an appropriately cyberpunk concept.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:11 PM on October 24, 2019 [20 favorites]


This was done not so much for the public, but for small competitors who were locked out of existence because they weren't one of the big boys.

... because lack of competition is bad for the public.

Whatever mini-Disney holding the rights to the movies can still keep them in the vault if they choose.

Yes, they could, but they would have a whole lot more incentive not to, compared to Disney sitting on a mountain of IP like a fucking dragon. Not to mention, frankly, none of this stuff should be under copyright at this point anyways.
posted by tocts at 12:15 PM on October 24, 2019 [10 favorites]


Not because you have a right to see Song of the South of the big screen. Which you don't.

Under a just copyright policy, you are correct that we could not compel Disney to produce the masters of their films. But we ought to have a right to screen copies (and make copies of those copies) of a 73 year old movie.
posted by explosion at 12:34 PM on October 24, 2019 [17 favorites]


Somewhat apropos of the Disney Vault, the excellent Hollywod history podcast You Must Remember This just started a season doing kind of a deep-dive on Song of the South as a cultural artifact. It already features some interesting discussion on the behavior of the Vault and the specific cultural contexts in which it gets opened.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 12:57 PM on October 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


If this helps spur repertory cinemas in major markets, maybe I'm OK with that.

What about non-major markets? What about a smaller theater that might want to run prestige current releases and also classics? Real nice of you to be willing to destroy the chances of everyone who doesn't live in an urban conglomeration, just so that NYC, LA, SF and Chicago can have the repertory cinemas you dream of.
posted by tavella at 1:12 PM on October 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


2N2222: "There is no right for the public to have access to your property if you choose to not make it accessable."

If you choose to make it inaccessible through lobbying Congress to take away what would otherwise have become public domain, then I believe it is incumbent upon all of us to tell you to fuck right the hell off with your "property" while we happily hoist the Jolly Roger.
posted by caution live frogs at 1:25 PM on October 24, 2019 [33 favorites]


What about a smaller theater that might want to run prestige current releases and also classics? Real nice of you to be willing to destroy the chances of everyone who doesn't live in an urban conglomeration, just so that NYC, LA, SF and Chicago can have the repertory cinemas you dream of.

I think there's a genuine question of what constitutes a prestige current release. Smaller markets are very likely already getting Disney, Lucas or Marvel content even in terms of tiny first-run theaters in quite small towns. That's genuinely not the issue - small independent theaters do have access to first-run content.

The ability to run classics on a repertory basis is much more limited, on the other hand. The question is whether a market can support multiple theaters.
posted by eschatfische at 1:27 PM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


Pirate cinemas sound like an appropriately cyberpunk concept.

It'd be like going to a rave in the 90s -- call a number to find out where to drive to ask a guy what abandoned warehouse outside of town is hosting the 10:30 showing of The Princess Bride.

I'd be into that.
posted by rifflesby at 1:30 PM on October 24, 2019 [16 favorites]


So what theaters need to do is take a page from the movie industry book, and incorporate each screen in their theater as a separate business entity.

This would also require them to incorporate the concessions stand as a separate business entity, which would make it harder for them to bar you from bringing in outside food.

Wait, what was my objection again?
posted by parliboy at 1:34 PM on October 24, 2019 [6 favorites]


There is no right for the public to have access to your property if you choose to not make it accessable ... Whatever mini-Disney holding the rights to the movies can still keep them in the vault if they choose.

You can keep your "intellectual property" in a vault forever if you like. But if you take your "intellectual property" and air it to the public, then there is nothing to prevent the public from making copies of it except the laws that congress writes.

If I steal your car, I am depriving you of use of your car. But if I make a copy of your movie, I am not depriving you of continuing to use your movie any way you like. Nobody owes you for your ideas if you put them in the public domain. That is a legal invention.
posted by JackFlash at 1:34 PM on October 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


It'd be like going to a rave in the 90s -- call a number to find out where to drive to ask a guy what abandoned warehouse outside of town is hosting the 10:30 showing of The Princess Bride.

It's 2019. Silicon Valley has already made an app for it, launched VC funding for it, received $100m in round B funding valuing the app at $5 billion, and are unable to make money off it despite taking 30% of the gross bookings.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:36 PM on October 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


That's genuinely not the issue - small independent theaters do have access to first-run content.

That's not what I said. The issue is that a theater that might try to carve out a niche in a midsized market, where they do runs of things like _Parasite_ or _JoJo Rabbit_, but also want to run the occasion series of classics. There are damn few markets where a program of *nothing* but oldies will support a theater.
posted by tavella at 1:46 PM on October 24, 2019 [6 favorites]


Use it or lose it. Period.

The point of giving you copyright is to encourage creativity and production. If you aren't doing it, then you should lose that right.
posted by symbioid at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


Also, it's not just a "might" -- Alamo Drafthouse is a significant nationwide chain that does a lot of repertory stuff alongside their full slate of first-runs. And now I'm glad I caught Aliens at my local Drafthouse while I still could.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:54 PM on October 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


> If I steal your car, I am depriving you of use of your car. But if I make a copy of your movie, I am not depriving you of continuing to use your movie any way you like.

You wouldn't download a car, would you?
posted by parliboy at 1:55 PM on October 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


You wouldn't download a car, would you?

So what? If I could download my car, that does not deprive you of your car. Why should I pay you for my car that I downloaded? You still have your car. And I have my car. I haven't taken anything from you.
posted by JackFlash at 2:02 PM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


It's a reference
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:10 PM on October 24, 2019


Allow me to mention live theater, especially smaller shows. Bonus: you get to leave the house! You get to be around other live theater watching rebels! There is probably a tiny interesting show around even if you're in a smaller town/city.
posted by amtho at 2:12 PM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


Allow me to mention live theater, especially smaller shows.

You had me...

Bonus: you get to leave the house!

...and then you lost me.
posted by The Tensor at 2:19 PM on October 24, 2019 [6 favorites]


i would definitely go to a community theatre performance of any film in the Alien-Predator Cinematic Universe
posted by poffin boffin at 2:19 PM on October 24, 2019 [15 favorites]


There is no right for the public to have access to your property if you choose to not make it accessable. This holds true for Disney even if you decide to break them up. Whatever mini-Disney holding the rights to the movies can still keep them in the vault if they choose.

Copyright is a social construct. We made it up because it seemed useful. We can decide how it works and put whatever limits on it we want. There's no inherent reason we need to say that a corporation can control a creative work for 95+ years or that it can sit atop a vast hoard of culture and refuse to let anyone legally see it generations after it has outlived its creators.
posted by zachlipton at 2:36 PM on October 24, 2019 [20 favorites]


Should this sink theatres, it would mean that there's more audience for their home streaming service - said an exec who thought vulture capitalism was a neat idea.
posted by LD Feral at 3:09 PM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


i would definitely go to a community theatre performance of any film in the Alien-Predator Cinematic Universe

If your definition of community theatre includes student productions....
posted by bassooner at 4:05 PM on October 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


To make a copy of a physical thing - presumably one has a means of reproducing a physical thing with near perfect fidelity, which is definitely the case of reproducing the data from 35mm film, if none-such exists.

I'm going to assume that there is some aesthetic benefit (being able to experience 35mm film at a theatre) to reproducing that data onto actual 35mm film rather than to digitize the data.

The owner of the IP has no obligation to make that physical object available.

Now, if there was an extant pirate copy, or a copy with legally free-and-clear use associated with it, it then goes back to the use of that IP.

But, yeah. Totally agree with "use it or lose it."
posted by porpoise at 4:32 PM on October 24, 2019


I recently saw a production of "The One: The Matrix Parody Musical" in Chicago. OMG I loved it.
posted by amtho at 4:45 PM on October 24, 2019


Like the last Star Wars had to be shown in all of those guaranteed for 3+ weeks

I am such an old I remember when the first Star War played for like a year and a half
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:22 PM on October 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


Nice to see the Transit Drive-In in Lockport name-checked in the article! That was my hometown drive-in back in high school days. (Lockport was the county seat for many little farming communities like the one I grew up in). We'd go every weekend in carloads; all your friends would pile out onto blankets in big heaps during the movies, and walk around and socialize in between. The concession stand was cheaper than the mall cinema, but it was still cheaper for us to bring food from home. I can still taste my BFF's Mom's coconut-chocolate no-bake cookies just talking about it. With a slight aftertaste of Deep Woods Off and the communal 2-liter of Diet Cherry Coke. It was first-run movies back then, too.


This has been the Small-Town Gen-X Teenage Dirtbag Nostalgia Moment, brought to you by Cool Ranch Doritos. We now return you to to the 21st Century Media Apocalypse, already in progress.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:57 PM on October 24, 2019 [5 favorites]


If I steal your car, I am depriving you of use of your car. But if I make a copy of your movie, I am not depriving you of continuing to use your movie any way you like. Nobody owes you for your ideas if you put them in the public domain. That is a legal invention.

The concept of ownership is a legal invention as well.
posted by tummy_rub at 6:59 PM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


Somewhat related, I heard from a drive-in theater owner that they aren't allowed to show a double feature with one Disney movie and one non-Disney movie. It has to be two Disney titles, or none.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:13 PM on October 24, 2019


or what? does some mouse in pants show up the next day to break their thumbs?
posted by poffin boffin at 7:59 PM on October 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


i guess it would be the three little pigs actually
posted by poffin boffin at 7:59 PM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


There are damn few markets where a program of *nothing* but oldies will support a theater.

I'm very lucky to be in one of those damn few markets served by the Stanford Theatre and the Niles Silent Film Museum.
posted by JDC8 at 8:07 PM on October 24, 2019


or what? does some mouse in pants show up the next day to break their thumbs?

100% Disney have people who go to theaters to make sure this doesn't happen and if it does, welp those movies are recalled.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:08 PM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


It's when the pantsless duck with WWII PTSD flashbacks comes to shoot you out of a cannon that things start to get ugly.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:14 PM on October 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


100% Disney have people who go to theaters to make sure this doesn't happen and if it does, welp those movies are recalled.

And with digital theater tech and distro, all they have to do is revoke their license keys or validation server access. It's not like someone from Disney has to go down there and start yelling to gain access to the projection room and remove physical film, media or HDD carts to recall the film and revoke the theater's ownership of the "print".

Modern digital film distribution to theaters for major studios is also almost entirely online these days, and it comes with layers of DRM infrastructure just for cases like this, going far beyond keeping people from simply copying some MPEGs off the projector servers and taking them home on a thumb drive. Another layer of DRM include digitally watermarking the audio and video to enable tracking camcorder rips down to the theater.

I would assume and presume at this point they could update movie files with new digital watermarks on the fly, or that they might even be dynamically inserted or rendered before showtime by a projector/server system so that they could pinpoint a cam rip down to the exact showing, which theater and screen, what time and date and so on.

I can't remember which film or films were involved but as I recall one thing that's happened already in modern digital cinema theater is a movie has been distributed or otherwise released and waiting to for opening day only to be recalled because unexpected global news.

These kinds of DRM systems and validation or license key systems are how they can do that and you don't have some renegade theater deciding to show it anyway. No one can show it because the files won't play.

Almost no modern chain cineplex or major theater chain uses film or even physical drives any more. They have lots of bandwidth and and lots of storage space locked up real tight with lots and lots of DRM. Modern theaters are now really just glorified, oversized home digital theaters with extra speakers and DRM.

If you know an independent theater large or small that still shows actual film prints, classics and repertory, whether indie or from majors - and they also do digital major motion pictures and first run fare - you may assume that have a rock solid relationship and reputation with the distributors and providers.

A top notch theater like Cinerama in Seattle that still shows 70mm film prints of classics as well as general first run fare on digital DRM systems is entirely based on the reputation and fact that they will not screw around, go renegade or break any of these rules if a film is recalled or whatever - and that they have the budget and clout to still do this.

And these licensing agreements and the DRM that comes with them is a huge reason why there's so few independent theaters left that get access to first run majors and still run indie or classic films. It's not just Disney, but Disney is probably the worst at this and in using their infamously stupid, silly "vault" and putting things into it and then taking them out again to drive sales hype and cycles.
posted by loquacious at 12:26 AM on October 25, 2019 [7 favorites]


There is no right for the public to have access to your property if you choose to not make it accessable. This holds true for Disney even if you decide to break them up. Whatever mini-Disney holding the rights to the movies can still keep them in the vault if they choose.
This is true, and something that needs to be changed in copyright law.

Copyright is an agreement that the government will prevent anyone else from copying and selling a work so that the creator(s) can enjoy the profits.

I'd argue that there's an assumption in the origin of copyright that the creators will be selling the work in question not just sitting on it. The idea that copyright can be used to erase something from the world is the exact opposite of what copyright is supposed to be doing.

We need to change copyright law so that if people aren't selling a copyrighted work they lose copyright (not instantly, give 'em time to settle distribution and so on).

If they won't make something available then copyright shouldn't be a memory hole. If we can't buy it then copyright needs to be revoked so people can copy and preserve it themselves.
posted by sotonohito at 6:33 AM on October 25, 2019 [7 favorites]


I'd argue that there's an assumption in the origin of copyright that the creators will be selling the work in question not just sitting on it.

100% agreed. The original copyright act in the US (1790) is very clearly concerned with who gets to publish and sell the thing ("vending" is explicitly called out in every case of defining what people can or can't do). At no point in the creation of that act was there consideration for people having a right to own a copyright so as to bury the material forever.
posted by tocts at 6:50 AM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Time for lots and lots of torrents.
posted by uberchet at 8:05 AM on October 25, 2019


Copyrighted material should be taxed on a sliding scale. Start at 0% for a number of years, than start ratcheting upwards after a given period of time. Make owners of copyrighted materials have to pay to maintain the right to keep them out of the public domain.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:20 AM on October 25, 2019 [4 favorites]


If they want to have "intellectual property", they need to pay "intellectual property tax".
posted by fings at 10:26 AM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm very lucky to be in one of those damn few markets served by the Stanford Theatre and the Niles Silent Film Museum.

Not that I don't love the Stanford, but I'm pretty sure it is heavily subsidized by the Packard family and their foundations, and probably wouldn't survive if it just had to rely on box office.
posted by tavella at 11:12 AM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Pirate cinemas sound like an appropriately cyberpunk concept.
Don't they, though? (not actually cyberpunk, and the eponymous piracy is related but not identical to the situation at hand, but a fun read that taught me a lot about squatter rights laws in the UK)

Shall we fight for the rights to "A Night at the Opera" now?
I keep scrolling back up to laugh at this. Groucho would make a pretty good Grantaire, probably.

Maybe the most terrifying thing to me in the article is the suggestion that this is not just extension of an established operating standard (however much one might disagree with it) to a larger group of work, but also using the sheer market share of the works now handled by Disney to be less consistent about the exceptions to the established standard.

From the article: Several theater managers and film programmers (all of whom requested anonymity for fear of creating bad blood with Disney) said their requests to show older Fox titles had been either preemptively denied or revoked after the fact, despite fitting the description of a venue that should be allowed to do so.

Like, as long as they don't put restrictions on Rocky Horror nobody's going to get sufficiently worked up about it, avoiding Disney is like avoiding Amazon now anyway (who's taking bets on when one of them buys the other?), and all the "only applies to partially first-run theaters, not-for-profit theaters get exceptions, etc." caveats seem Eminently Reasonable, especially to people living in larger metro areas*; since you have to play nice with the mouse or go under, all the theaters that aren't getting the exceptions they mention in the press releases are just forced to shut up to get what Disney/Fox films they can until, what, they all go under and Disney no longer has to even pretend to not be out to crush independent cinema and theaters that focus on film as an art form rather than a source of carefully psychologically manipulated cash flow for Disney execs? Or worse, retroactively suggest that independent cinema is so negligible and unsustainable that it doesn't deserve to exist in communities that don't have enough moviegoers to warrant separate first-run-arthouse-only and repertory-only theaters (like has already happened to opera and classical music in general, ask me for my pamphlets)? Is there an SNL skit yet where Disney is personified as a mob boss?

[*I know lots of the for-profit theaters I see first-run movies at also show older movies, but in MSP or Chicago it's easy to only go to rep films at non-profit or second-run--not saying this justifies the outlined regulations, just that I get how people who grew up in a city might not be thinking about how this isn't the case for the vast geographic majority of the US. My Teenage Dirtbag Nostalgia moment is remembering how every time a slightly arty film came out people would carpool to the one theater an hour away that was ~edgy~ enough to show more than one R-rated movie at a time. They also showed repertory movies, but mostly we just rented those from the video store. *jazz hands* Iowa!]

Going back to "pirate cinema"--maybe it's time for independent theaters to switch to a speakeasy format, like "private clubs" with a nominal membership fee. I don't know, I just want to continue to celebrate my right as an American to go see fresh new explosions on a giant screen without that being philosophically opposed to my right as an overeducated and cynical Millennial to go see The Fly (1986) on a giant screen.
posted by C. K. Dexter Haven at 3:12 PM on October 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


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