Quincy/Hannibal Needs an Independent Cinema
Don't worry, this isn't some weird anti-corporate/anti-studio rant. The two AMC theatres in Quincy are wonderful theatres, as is the B&B in Hannibal. And I love studio tent-pole films. I caught every superhero movie this year from Logan to Justice League.
But I would also love to be able to catch some of the smaller more prestige films. The ones that won't make $100million its opening weekend, but are showcases for artistic endeavour. Of the nine films that were up for Best Picture this past year, I only saw three in theatres prior to the nominations being announced, with only four actually playing here (I missed Hacksaw Ridge during its run). Of the 17 films up for the major awards (Picture, Director, all four Acting, and both Screenplay), I was only able to see those same four films. I had to round it out through home video releases, OnDemand, and other resources my lawyers say I can't go into detail on.
Maybe it's the old timey romantic in me, but I do love going to the theatre to see films. Which is why I go so much, and will see just about everything that comes out. Well... everything I'm willing to spend money on, which as an admittedly low bar to clear. Basically don't be a 50 Shades movie. That's pretty much it. Otherwise, I love going to movies and I love going to the movies.
Now, as I have been going to the movies on an almost weekly basis for the past 14 years, I am fairly familiar with the process of what it takes to get a movie to play in a theatre. It's a combination of the studio and the theatre owner. Very complicated, money changing hands, everybody has to get paid. And I get that. And I get that if you want to go into business to make a ton of money, owning a movie theatre is not that business.
And this is not an indictment of the lack of options at either the AMC or the B&B. Both venues do a decent job of balancing the need to make a profit (they are a business after all) and the need to bring movies here. Both have, to their credit, brought some films I was pleasantly surprised to see show up in our theatres. When The Big Sick and It Comes at Night showed, I was there. Roman J. Israel, Esq. and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri are both currently in the top 10 at the box office, and I'd love to see them. I'm really, really hoping we get The Shape of Water next week.
I just think it would be nice to have a venue catering exclusively to these smaller films that don't come with a Disney studio tag at the front of the film. You could even expand it to be a second run theatre on the major studio films, or have classic film nights so we can all experience some beloved classics covering the history of cinema on the big screen.
La La Land, one of the most talked about films during last year's awards season, was in the top 10 at the box office for seven weeks, won numerous critics awards and swept the Golden Globes, but it wasn't until the Oscar nominations that we finally got it. And part of that is on the studios with their rush to push things into the theatres by the end of the year to make them awards eligible, but also release tent-pole films that appeal to families while the kids are on break from school for Christmas and New Year.
So if we had an independent cinema, the studio flicks could go to the chain theatre, the independent flicks could go to the independent cinema. With Quincy being named one of the most artistic small towns in America, and one of the top destinations for millenials, I think there's a market for more art-house cinema. And everyone would be happy.
At least I would. And my happiness is all that matters, really.