Image of Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly cinema showing the retro film: Pulp Fiction
As of late, there has been a rising resurgence of retro movies showing back up in the movie theaters over some of the newer movies. Some have seen that more recently older movies are starting to back up in movie theaters.
This seems to coincide with the seeming decline of the film industry as the movie business doesn’t seem to be in its prime anymore. This can be seen with many movies carrying over the same tired plot points and structures. These older showings usually come in the form of a limited release of a couple of days as seen with AMC having done this with studio Ghibli films such as Spirited away and Howl’s moving castle.
Although older film showings are still more of a niche culture reserved for small showings, it does seem that these showings would be more favorable and profitable with the feeling that films are in a slowing state; especially when you consider the theaters target audience is older, who grew up with the cinema experience and is far more susceptible to marketing to nostalgia than the younger folks.
The newer generation has the inclination to stream media at home which is a very viable solution as streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and even smaller services like Peacock. Picking up more steam with each platform having its own exclusive streaming rights as well as some having their own exclusive productions like the Netflix originals series which has become somewhat iconic or infamous depending on how you look at it; such as the horrendous 2018 movie, The Kissing Booth. Despite these shortcomings on Netflix’s part, the company is still the largest service with 195 million subscribers earning the company $17 billion annually according to businessofapps.com.
The niche culture surrounding retro films is also an opportunity for small local cinemas to capitalize. Such as the iconic cinema that Quentin Tarantino bought a while back, and the New Beverly Cinema was doing such retro showings as a midnight showing of Pulp fiction on September 23, 2022.
Showings of these kinds are also dependent on the film distributors and might bottleneck supply as these older movies might have licensing issues and are in short supply of movie theaters. This isn’t necessarily an issue for Tarantino as he would have to go through less to obtain the rights to his own movies.
However, programs such as AMC classics would have trouble obtaining a steady stream of these showings from more closed-off studios such as the Japan based studio Ghibli which has had showings although not often.
The way that the film industry is going, it either needs to adopt a more mainstream approach to retro film showings or the entire industry as a whole needs a revamp of some sort.
Written by Culture Editor, Hector Avila