Oscar-winning director Quentin Tarantino Tarantino says that in post-COVID America, some movie theaters deserve to "fucking go."
Oscar-winning director Quentin Tarantino says that in post-COVID America, some movie theaters deserve to “fucking go” out of business.
The Once Upon in Hollywood director made the comments Monday on a podcast while promoting the novelization of his 2019 masterpiece:
“Some of these exhibitors that are going — I never like to see any movie theater closing — but some of these exhibitors who are going, they fucking deserve to go,” Tarantino said on the podcast. “They have taken all the specialness out of movies anyway. Some of these chains were they’re showing commercials all through it; they don’t turn the lights down, everything is stadium seating, plastic shit.”
He continued, “They have been writing their own epitaph for a long time, but they assumed the business would take you along. It’s been crazy throughout my career to see how the film experience is lessened for the viewer like every five years. However, I do think boutique cinemas actually will thrive in this time. And I am not talking about the La-Z-Boy, order nachos and margaritas … I actually like the Alamo Drafthouse a lot. But I have a living room, I want to go to the theater.”
The full context of the discussion involves Tarantino’s announcement that he’d just purchased the 400 seat, 98-year-old Vista Theater on Sunset Boulevard as a first-run theater that will never go digital. Film only. Since 2007, Tarantino’s owned and operated the New Beverly Theater in Los Angeles, where he shows only classic films on 35mm and 16mm, primarily from his own collection.
I’m not sure I get the nostalgia for celluloid, but he’s right about it being no major loss if these garbage movie theaters fail to recover.
As happy as I am to see my local theater reopened (the only one within 40 miles), it’s punishing to sit there through all the commercials and what has now expanded to 20 and 25 minutes of trailers, followed by three more commercials, before the movie finally plays.
Then no one ensures the theater remains quiet as you sip a small soda and eat a small popcorn that almost sets you back nearly $20, and that doesn’t include the ticket price.
Movie theaters have some tough decisions to make. With our home theaters become sweeter and sweeter, with streaming services collapsing the window of time between theatrical release and the home video release, exhibitors will have to decide what to do. Can they remain awful and expensive and still attract patrons? Or do they invest in better accommodations and services?
Over the weekend, I enjoyed Amazon’s Tomorrow War on my home digital projection theater — a 14-foot by 8-foot screen with 7.1 surround sound — every bit as much as I would have in a movie theater. If given a choice between watching at home or in a theater — a choice give to HBO Max subscribers this year, I will always choose to stay home.
And I doubt I’m alone.
Does anyone enjoy going to a movie theater anymore?