Saturday, May 22, 2004

Remember the claim that multiplex theatres would be large enough to allow some screening space for indie and foreign films? My local 24-plex is showing only 12 films and worse a 6-plex that claims to be devoted to independent film culture is showing six mainstream Hollywood films (unless for some peculiar reason you think Connie and Carla shouldn't count).

This is the start of the summer season and to give proper credit the 24-plex has the best projection of any place in the city, including the various genuine arthouses, the museum and certainly the local colleges (one of which has a supposedly top-notch film program but invariably has projection problems; for two years it ran a poorly set-up projector that was unable to show any aspect ratio correctly even though I pointed this out twice to the head of the film program).

So what's the point? Capitalism rules? None of this is a surprise but in some way I'm still disappointed. Even money-grubbing record labels and publishers still support what they consider prestige projects so even though Hollywood's idea of this runs to garbage like Chicago and American Beauty it's not far-fetched that theatre chains could tap into a small but loyal and largely underserved market. Oh, stop snickering....