By: Nick Gambino
Netflix has wittingly or unwittingly positioned themselves as a convenient alternative to going to the theaters to watch movies. Higher quality home theaters have done their part, but it can be argued that the ease of access Netflix and other streaming services provide is the coffin in which the theater model will be buried.
Theater exhibitors have no plans of going out without a tooth-and-nail fight. They hold the key to the prestige afforded by appearing on the big screen and winning Oscars. Despite efforts to change the rules, the Academy still only recognizes movies that have appeared in theaters for a minimum of one week in LA county with a minimum of three screenings a day.
This might seem like a silly rule that is out of touch with the times, but I would argue that it’s an important one that seeks to maintain the grand event that made the medium of film as highly regarded as it is. We regard movies as a prestigious art form and so the medium in which they’re viewed should reflect that. You wouldn’t feel the full impact of the Mona Lisa or The Creation of Adam if you were viewing those masterpieces on your phone or in your living room, but they’d certainly have your undivided attention and admiration if you were standing in the Louvre or Sistine Chapel.
Netflix’s most recent struggle involved obtaining a theatrical release for Martin Scorsese’s return to the mob world with The Irishman. Netflix nabbed the premier director with the promise of a theater run before appearing on the streaming platform. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get large chains like AMC to play ball. They ultimately opted for a limited release with the flick showing in a few indie houses starting on November 1st before its streaming debut on November 27th.
Thankfully, this hasn’t deterred the streaming giant from pursuing theatrical runs for other upcoming films on its roster. There are 10 Netflix films set to hit theaters this fall including The Irishman. Here’s the list of movies you’ll be able to see on the big screen between September and December:
Dolemite Is My Name
I Lost My Body
The Two Popes